This past week I experienced something that shocked me. Let me start by saying last week was not a good week. Everything that could go wrong did. Mainly the trouble came from work. Those of you who work with the public know there are some crazy people out there. Some people feel like the world is out to get them and then there are those that feel like if they scream and yell they can get anything they want. They do this with no regard to the person on the other end of the screaming temper tantram.
Well last week I had two such customers. Both yelled, screamed and cursed at me with really no reason other than the fact they felt it would help them get their way. You may ask what this has to do with my blog on theology. The reason this is relevant is because one of these men is an usher at one of the largest Baptist churches in Knoxville and the other is a priest at a local Catholic church. That’s right, two men that claim they are religious, love God and attend church on a regular basis yelling, screaming and cursing.
The only thing that I am thankful for was that they were doing this to me. That’s right, I’m glad it was me they were cursing at. The reason I am glad is because I already know Christ. I am saved. I have a good church to attend. Imagine if they were doing this to someone who did not have the background I have. What if it was a lost man they were cursing at? Would that man think to himself, “If that’s the way a Christian acts then they are no better than me.” “If that’s Christianity I don’t want anything to do with it.”
No wonder James tells us that the tongue is set on fire from hell. “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
So this got me thinking. First I’m thinking about my own tongue. Let me be very clear that I have never cursed at someone because I was not getting my way. At the same time there have been many times when I have lost my cool and said things that I wish I could take back. Most of the time these hurtful things are said to the ones that I love the most, namely my family. I’m sure that you readers have never done anything, or said anything hurtful to your loved ones, but I have.
Second, I am thinking how embarrassing it is that those of us who say we belong to Christ act like we belong to the Devil. How can you be an influence on someone who is lost, if you cannot control yourself? The answer is that you can’t. You cannot bite some ones head off, and then invite them to church Sunday. There is a reason God placed our tongue behind a wall of flesh and a wall of ivory.
Let me finish by saying that when we are unable to control our tongue we are not only hurting the ones we are speaking with, we are also hurting the church of Jesus Christ. Let me give you the same advise I’ve been giving myself the past couple days, “Sometimes I need to just shut up.”