Lord, yesterday I was in a discount store rummaging through hundreds of Father's Day cards. Beside me was a young woman and her baby girl. The woman was wearing a maroon college jersey. A man about 65 years old walked up behind us and said, "Ain't that the school where they go to kill people?"
Both of us stared at him in disbelief. He said it again. The lady in the VA Tech jersey said, "Sir, you'd better go on about your business before I get really mad!"
He mumbled something and walked away. Then, this lady started crying. Her hands were shaking. She completely lost her focus on her shopping. Her afternoon was ruined by a stupid remark.
God, I try to control my tongue. I don't usually go around making cruel remarks to strangers. But that incident made me take pause. Just a few hours earlier I was irritated about a situation and took it out on a store clerk on the phone. I sort of spit out a snide remark to her. Did my remark help her fix the problem? No. Did it make her day any better? No. Did it even make me feel better? No. I felt like a jerk!
How often do I make some stupid remark - some remark that flies thoughtlessly out of my mouth - that hurts someone else? How often do my words wound other people because I didn't take a breath, step back from the situation, and think for a nanosecond before I allowed those words to escape? Or, how often, do I let words spew out of my mouth with a tone or attitude that is hurtful or hateful? It's not always the verbiage that wounds others, but the tone, the volume, or the facial expression attached to those words.
I'm 59 years old for pity's sake! I've been a Christian for 40 years! When will I ever learn to control my mouth?
Psalm 141:3 is a little prayer you need to keep at hand all day long - especially around your family, Little One. It says: "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." You just need to make sure your mind and your emotions stop at the guard shack and show their ID before you open up the gate.