Our “God at Work” sermon series brought us to the smallest, but perhaps mightiest of all offenders to behaving like a Christian: our tongues. We have a habit of letting them loose, running wild all over the place, as James alludes to, like unbridled horses. In fact, this Sunday, our Communion table was adorned with a well-worn horse bridle.
A few weeks ago, I preached on holiness. Yup, not the kind of thing you invite your friends over for-a good night of holiness. But we all belong to God, so we inherit the holiness gene. And that’s where holding your tongue comes into play.
We want to be the best we possibly can. Hurting someone through mean-spirited talk invites darkness into your life, and probably the life of the one that talk is aimed at. Sticks and stones hurt...and so does unbridled talk. When we were kids some of us had a bar of soap stuck into our mouths for cursing. What a great system that would be to remind us to keep our talk clean. Imagine a friend or stranger handing you a bar of Ivory every time you crossed the line!
Back to holiness. I know it feels good to do things we shouldn’t, like gossip or tell slanderous stories, but instead I encourage you to get a hobby, or do something to make someone’s day brighter. It might fill up the empty space that demands feeding from ugly tongue-wagging.
Read the myth of the Six blind Men and the Elephant. The whole story is hard to piece together when you’ve only got your side of it.
So, a bar of soap and a small figure of an elephant tucked in our pockets, might keep us on the good side of talk.