Good day to each of you reading this column as I do hope all is well with you and that you are excited that spring is, well, springing with pollen in the air, warmer temperatures and beautiful, colorful, sweet-smelling flowers.
Before we get into the lesson, let’s enjoy the following:
What sign were you born “under?” “Quiet— Hospital Zone.”
A nice but blundering old lady like the pastor and wanted to compliment him as she was leaving the church services. So she said to the pastor, “I must say, Sir, that we folks didn’t know what sin was until you charge of our parish.”
Adam: Does the Bible say that if you smoke you can go to heaven?
John: No, but the more you smoke the quicker you’ll get there.
Why is it that the loudest snorer is always the first one to get to sleep?
Q: What do you get when you cross the Godfather with an attorney?
A: An offer you can’t understand.
Laughter is the best medicine—Let us turn our attention to the subject of Taming the Tongue. When reading James, I use TNT or dynamite as a simile to the explosiveness of the tongue. We have intelligence not to play with TNT, yet we curse men in God’s likeness.
Turn to James 3: 5-6 (Smith & Goodspeed) So the tongue is a little organ and yet very boastful. What a great forest a spark will set on fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of wrong the tongue proves in our bodies, soiling the whole body and setting the fire to the whole round of nature, and set on fire itself by hell.
We are guilty of “tooting our horn”, but I was taught the following— “Tell the world what you have done, after you did it”, so I tooted my horn. But is that the best way? Don’t actions speak louder than words?
James, in chapter 3, goes on to say that no human being can tame the tongue for it is an irreconcilable evil, full of deadly poison. James, then points out in verse 9 that we bless the Lord our father and curse men in God’s likeness.
Folks, this is hard, very hard! Yes, if we could turn back time and take back words that came out as evil. Families have been torn apart, friendships ruined, leaders destroyed, neighbor fighting neighbor, in laws becoming out laws, and so many more examples. And why, the same spark that was ignited to the fuse of the TNT is the same fuse that was ignited personally to curse men.
This lesson is not to point fingers nor to feel good to set one straight, but to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to be angry. I am reminded of an old story that may illustrate the taming of the tongue:
One day I hopped in a cab, and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. The cab driver slammed on brakes, just missing the other car by inches. The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
The cab driver just smiled and waved very friendly at the guy. I asked the cab driver, “Why did you just do that? He almost smashed our car and sent us to the hospital!”
The cab driver turned to me and asked me if I heard about ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ No, sure haven’t, I said. Ok, he said, many folks are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, and sometimes they dump it on you. Don’t take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other folks at work, home or on the streets.
Bottom line—Successful folks don’t let garbage trucks take over their day. So, love the people that treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is 10% what you make it & 90% how you take it! Have a blessed, garbage-free day! From the Law of the Garbage Truck! That reminds me of a great song that I listen to by Glen Campbell—Try a Little Kindness—Take a listen to the words, it’s a catchy song that you can hum thru the day.
Personally, each day as I pray, I ask God for patience and wisdom—Two weak areas that I need more of in this hectic daily life. If only we had more cab drivers, like the one above and less drivers who whipped their head around and started yelling.
As I close, let us all be reminded not to use TNT and try a little kindness.
May God Bless each of you and May you bless God richly.