By the time we drove out of the parking lot of the Grant County Fairgrounds in John Day, Oregon yesterday my head was full of disorganized snippets of a thousand conversations. The information sharing at our first family reunion in more than twenty years had been intense.
“From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:2-3 NIV).
With a group of people that size and the varying backgrounds and beliefs, it could have led to discord. But I didn’t see much of that, thankfully.
“Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored” (verse 18).
There’s a teaching from the book of James in the Bible that talks about the tongue being the hardest thing to control. If my memory serves me right, it says that our words are like a small spark that can set a forest ablaze. I’d be ashamed to be the cause of charring anyone.
I’d also like to avoid the “poverty and shame” part, and respond joyfully to correction. Success has come in the discipline of keeping my tongue in check when I set my heart attitude on being loving to others. From that just naturally comes better speaking and fewer sparks.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis