I Shouldn’t Have Said That!

Have you ever had your mouth washed out with soap? It isn’t a pleasant experience! There was an older kid in our neighbourhood, when I was a child, who was accustomed to using filthy language. When my little brother and I were around him, we tried to imitate him because we thought that was how big kids talk. We knew that what we were doing was against the rules, but we thought we could get away with it.  One day, while we were practicing “big-kid talk” and laughing at what we were saying,  my mother overheard our conversation!

Since I was the older son, and should have been a good example to my brother, I received the “cleansing treatment” first.  She explained to us what she was going to do.  It didn’t take long and wasn’t scary, but it sure was humbling!  I could hear my little brother snickering behind me as I was going through the ordeal. Then it was his turn! He didn’t think it was funny anymore! The soap she used had a pleasant smell to it, but it did not taste good! As you probably already know, it wasn’t my mouth and my tongue that were the real sources of the problem. It was my heart. But having my mouth washed out with soap gave me a change of heart!

My mother got the point across and the lesson was learned. As I think of my mother, I cannot ever remember her cursing, swearing, or using filthy language. I’m thankful to God and to her that the use of such language has never become a habit for me. However, there are other kinds of language that we have all been guilty of, and struggle with from time-to-time. Evangelist Billy Graham said, “You can use your tongue to slander, to gripe, to scold, to nag, and to quarrel, or you can bring it under the control of God’s Spirit and make it an instrument of blessing and praise.”

There is a verse of Scripture on stewardship of speech that I memorized many years ago, and I continue to review it often.  Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it might impart grace to those who hear.”  (Revised Standard Version)  That verse reminds me to ask myself two questions before speaking:  First, “Is this the right thing to say, in God’s sight?” And, if so, then secondly:  “Is this the right time to say it?”

“Let the words of my mouth
And the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight
,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 (NASB)

 

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  1. Thank you, David. Jesus describes Himself as being “meek and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Ask God to change our hearts to be more like His. It won’t happen overnight, but as we are persistent in prayer and obedient to His Word, He will conform us to HIs likeness and problems with our speech will diminish because our hearts are being changed. (II Cor. 3:18)

  2. Good points. I do wonder what’s the next level deeper. It’s important to not curse, but what about how we speak to people in general. Are we harsh? Do we tear down or build up? I know I need to work on yelling in general when it comes to my kids. Good points.

    • How true. Sometimes it’s best to wait and pray if we are unsure of the timing. I like Solomon’s words about timing in Proverbs 25:11-12. You might find them helpful also. Thanks for responding.

    • It’s a struggle. We have to catch it in our minds before it passes through our lips. There’s a poem entitled “Three Gates of Gold”, and I believe the gates are: “Is it true”, “Is it needful, (or appropriate)”, and “Is it kind (the smallest gate”. Then what comes out of our mouths is a proper response rather than a quick reaction. I believe God has called us, and enabled us to be “gate-keepers”. Stay close to that gate, and don’t open it without God’s authorization.. .

      • Yes, very good. God is helping me with criticism because I have asked him to and he has convicted me not to say negative things about people. I do feel a hesitation now before I speak about someone! Believe me, I never did before. It is so great to have that pause come to mind before I start talking. I mean, I’ll still make mistakes, but hopefully less and less as time goes on.

        • That’s the spirit, Belle! Stay on guard-duty and keep praying! Also, be quick to apologize to the person with whom you shared something negative, even if the comment was made about someone else. You’re telling that person that what you said was wrong. It’s the right thing to do; it’s humbling, and it serves as a deterrent from making negative comments again..

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Written by tpdrenoske

Welcome to this blog site. My name is Tom Drenoske. I am the third in a line of four with that name, and currently live in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. I became a Christian on Christmas Eve, 1970. In 1978 I graduated from Multnomah School of the Bible’s one-year Graduate Program. Four years later I graduated from Denver Seminary with a Master’s degree in Biblical Literature. I have enjoyed over 25 years of ministry as a campus minister, pastor, interim pastor, and chaplain. Please go to the About Page at the back of this site for more information about me, my reasons for setting up this blog site with Word Press, and an introduction to the sermons I am placing on this site. These sermons on my blog site, wisdomfromabove.net, are thorough, devotional, scriptural, understandable, practical and enjoyable. I prefer to study through a book of the Bible, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, and am currently in the Gospel of John. I have also written several devotional articles for the Godinterest blogsite. Thank you for visiting. Please come again. I welcome any comments or questions you might have.

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