Like everybody else, I have my share of trouble. It’s not that I want to get into trouble, but trouble always seems to be somewhere near where I am at the time. I regret that time when I was first introduced to trouble.
This tongue of mine has been the most significant source of trouble and problems through out my life. As I get older, it seems to get worse.
A preacher friend of mine would talk about one of the older women in his church, and he said, “I often wondered if this woman ever had an unexpressed thought in her life.”
I have not yet learned that because I’m thinking about something, I do not need to speak it. Thinking doesn’t get me in trouble; speaking gets me into deep trouble.
Sometimes when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is speaking to me, I speak out loud without realizing it. Then comes the infamous, “What did you say?”
Whenever I hear this, I know I’m in some kind of trouble. Either I didn’t hear it right, or I did hear it right, and I responded.
As a veteran husband, I should understand that she does not expect an answer whenever she asks a question. All she wants from her husband is a positive shaking of the head and a greasy smile.
I know this, but sometimes I forget. If only I could train my tongue when to speak and when not to speak. There are times when that old tongue of mine will wag and wag, getting me into deep trouble.
One morning right after breakfast, I was getting ready to leave when my wife said, “When will you be ready to do that job?”
I looked at her quizzically and said, “What job?”
She stared at me for a moment and then said, “You know. What we were talking about last night as we were watching TV.”
I had no idea what she was talking about. I could remember watching TV the night before, but I had no idea what the conversation was about.
“You don’t mean to tell me you’ve forgotten already?”
Last night while watching TV, she talked about some projects she had in mind, and I wag my tongue in affirmative action. She assumed I knew what she was talking about and that I had agreed to that plan.
If only my tongue had ears, I might not get into so much trouble.
Now, I need my tongue to wag in a way to get me out of the trouble it got me into while it was wagging the night before.
How many right wags does it take to correct one wrong wag?
It would be wonderful if my tongue were attached somehow to my ears. Or maybe, better yet, to my brain.
In my dilemma, I thought of a verse of Scripture. “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:5).
Once you say something, it is impossible to unsay it. My tongue has got me into more trouble than all the other things in my life. But there’s one thing about my tongue that can compensate for this. I can use my tongue to praise the God who created me.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.