"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trimming the Tongue

One day a lady went to visit her preacher. She was one of the members who always complained. She walked into the preacher’s office and told him, “Preacher, there is something you do that offends me.” The preacher wanted to be accommodating, so he asked her, “What is that?” She answered, “It’s the way you wear your tie.” The preacher, somewhat surprised and confused asked, “What is it about the way I wear my tie that offends you?” She said, “Preacher, your tie always hangs two or three inches below your belt buckle. A tie properly worn strikes the belt buckle.”

The preacher sat there a moment, then reached into his desk and pulled out a pair of scissors. He then said to the woman, “Well, I certainly don’t want to be offensive to you. Here, take these scissors and cut my tie to where you think it ought to be.” The woman took the scissors and cut off about two inches of the preacher’s tie. “Does that make you feel better?” asked the preacher. “Yes, it does,” replied the woman.

With that, the woman got up and started to leave the office, but the preacher stopped her. “Before you leave,” the preacher said, “There’s something about you that offends me.” “What is about me that offends you,” asked the woman. The preacher responded, “Your tongue, stick it out please.”

I hope you found that fictional story as humorous as I did. In my ministry career thus far, I’ve haven’t cut any tongues, and I don’t ever plan to do so. But, it does provide a reminder for us all, regardless if we’re the preacher, teacher, or member. How carefully are we choosing our words? James says, “…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” (James 3: 5) Before we know it, we set the Lord’s Kingdom on fire with the ruthlessness of our tongues; and that, my friends, is a tragedy of all tragedies.

Does your tongue need to be trimmed two inches?