There is probably not one among us who hasn’t allowed some careless comment to slip through their lips that hurt another person. When this happens, we are often forced to go into the “clean-up” mode. It is like grabbing the milk from the refrigerator, dropping it on the floor, and watching as it splashes everywhere. So what comes next? Clean up! All you wanted was one glass of milk. But now you will likely be on your hands and knees wiping up a mess created by your own carelessness.

Many of you have heard me say that being old has its advantages. One of those is being free to say things you have always wanted to say, but previously couldn’t. Well, I have known some like that, but the truth is … I do try very hard to not be one of them. Why? Because I don’t like cleaning up the mess that can be made.

Our words should be weighed before they are spoken, not after. Serious damage can be done that may never be undone. I have always admired those who carefully and thoughtfully select the words they speak. It is those that spend very little time on their knees cleaning up spilled words.

James 3:3-10 says, “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be.”

Today might just be a good day to go around singing the song we learned many years ago:
O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

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