A little boy stepped on the automated rubber mat…jumping on it over and over again as the glass doors slid open and shut. He was not deterred by the gentle tug of his mother’s hand. The jumping continued even with his arm stretched out further and further by his mom. All he saw in that moment was that he controlled the opening/closing of the sliding glass doors. He was enthralled with his new-found superpower.
If only I could control my life like that!
Have you ever wished that you had the ability to jump on a rubber mat in order to open and close doors? I’ve desired the control over simple and more complex things of my life.
You know which opening and closing glass door I can control? My own mouth.
While there are dozens of examples in the Bible of how we should control our mouths. Here are just three of those examples:
Proverbs 13:3 (ESV) “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
1 Peter 3:10 (NASB) “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”
James 1:19 (NASB) “You know this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Now everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger…”
Scripture gives us clear direction that our mouths are controllable, but we often let them go wild without constraint. We lose control over our mouths in such detrimental ways. It may be through gossip, or a false statement. We lose control when we use a swear word, or a harsh criticism. It’s even when we repeat an inappropriate joke or sing along to the popular song that is not so wholesome.
Instead of randomly jumping up and down on a rubber mat; allowing our mouth to open and close at any ol’ time, perhaps now is the time to slow down and become more deliberate in controlling our tongue.
By no means do I have control over my own tongue (and as evident by prior blog entries, I have struggled with profanity). However, I’ve written down some goals that I’m going to implement so that I have better control over what I am saying.
1. Slow down on the cursing (stopping all together is the ultimate goal)
2. Replacing sketchy lyrics from the radio with Gospel Music/Contemporary Christian Music
3. Offering a compliment…even when I want to offer the criticism
4. Issuing silent prayers/pleas for help to the Lord when I’m in contentious conversations
I may not be able to control everything in my life, but I can wrangle in some control over my tongue. I’m going to stop jumping on the rubber mat, watching the door open and close on its own. Instead, I’m going to start being deliberate about closing my mouth when it should stay shut, and opening it only when necessary and when its kind words flowing from it.
How are you working on the automatic doors of your own life? Come to the porch and share your goals with us!