I'm a talker. I love words. Working around Dr. Dobson for three decades has only increased my passion to carefully and intentionally communicate the power of the Gospel verbally to hurting families. Ahhhh, families: my other great passion. Three years ago when I first approached my husband and kids about the possibility of me joining the Family Talk team, my oldest son piped up, "Well Mom, this is a 'no-brainer'; you've got to take the job. It's all about "family" and "talk" -- two of your favorite things!" True. The boy knows me well.
But I'm keenly aware that every strength pushed to its limit becomes a weakness. Given my propensity to talk, chat, converse, and occasionally ramble, I'm burdened by the realization that my words also have the ability to do enormous harm. The Word of God confirms this by the exorbitant
amount of time devoted to discussions on the mouth, the
tongue, and our speech.
Humorist Mark Twain quipped, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." This is undoubtedly a variation of David's admonition in Proverbs 17:28 that "even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." By far, the third chapter of James paints the bleakest picture culminating with a harsh warning in verse 8: "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." Gulp.
But look again at how James 3:8 begins: "No human being can tame the tongue..." The Lord Himself acknowledges that I am powerless to combat this fatal flaw on my own. I need Him. The compassionate Father reminds me that the only way I can conquer restless evil is to submit myself to His oversight. That's why one of my most oft-repeated prayers is: "Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3) I claimed this again just the other night in anticipation of an emotional conversation awaiting me the next day: "Lord, you take the sentry position. I give you full authority to clamp a muzzle on me, reinforce the guard gate and set watchman on the walls. I am fully incapable of doing this on my own." Amen. And I'm pleased to report that together we won that particular battle. Now onto today.....