Picture it. A cute little puppy dog. And after the puppy dog comes to know you, his little tail will start wagging and wagging every time he sees you. Sometimes you start to think if he wags it any harder it will just fly off!
A puppy wagging his tail is very cute; however one thing that is not cute is a wagging tongue. And unfortunately, besides my struggle with judging people (Blessings Even When I’m Feeling Bad), another thing I’ve struggled with for years is my puppy-dog tongue…
You know what I mean, right? I start to talk, and then my tongue goes wild and I start saying all sorts of things. And then I realize maybe I’ve said something I shouldn’t have, so I talk even more to try and rectify what I’ve just said, but instead I sometimes make it worse.
Thankfully, my Christian friends are full of grace and mercy, but the problem comes when I’m around unbelievers.
During the years when we lost our children and then discovered the difficulties with little Jeffrey (Continuing Forward), I was a stay-at-home mom. But now Gary had started a new job as a manager of a construction supply warehouse, and they were in need of a part-time receptionist. Would I be interested?
What an ideal plan! It had been difficult to even think about finding a job with the hours that I needed so I could be at home with Jeffrey, and we had been unable to find suitable respite care. But now working with Gary he could set whatever hours for me that we required!
The first couple days on my job were fun. But then that 3rd day came, and all of a sudden I saw my evil, wicked tongue start to flap away wildly.
There was one guy who worked in the office that wasn’t well liked. He tended to come and go as he pleased, and it was causing a lot of dissension with the others. Gary was trying to get him under control, but this particular week Gary was out of town for a couple of days. Well of course everyone knew it, so this one “problem child” decided that he’d just work for a couple hours that day, and then leave.
As soon as he left the phone calls started coming in right and left for him – it seemed like every problem that could come up, did.
Soon the others in the office started with all sorts of not-so-nice comments about this guy (most of which were certainly well-founded), but then all of a sudden I found myself joining right on in with them!
The next morning as I had my quiet prayer time, I began to feel very convicted by the Holy Spirit. This was not the way I should be acting – I am not to be like the world!!!
Of course more confirmation came almost immediately when I began doing my Bible study, which that week was on James 3. Here’s how James 3:8-10 (Amplified) reads:
But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.
As I sat there staring at it, I was saddened that after only a couple of days at my new job I had already blown my witness. Forgive me, Lord!
As Christians it can be very hard to live as Jesus wants us to on a daily basis, can’t it? Yet please remember – as I had to remind myself that day – the Lord God’s love for us is everlasting, and He has created us with special loving-kindness (Jeremiah 31:7). He knows how we’re made, and He knows our struggles. So next time you feel that you’ve “failed,” turn to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then dust off your shoes and move on!
Yes, during my tenure at that job I found myself failing on many more occasions, but the Lord was merciful and also allowed me many opportunities to share my faith through my frailties and give hope to others who were struggling. He’ll do the same for you!