After spending twenty-four hours in Florida for my brother’s funeral, I embarked on the journey home with my family. It was a late flight, departing at nine p.m. My nephew, who is five, curled up next to his mom a few seats over. We were all set for a quiet flight…wrong! My nephew had to go to the bathroom at least twenty times. Then about 11:30 he decided to come sit with me. I took my ear buds out and looked at him. Then it began… “Look at all the people coming to the back of this plane to use the bathroom! Don’t they know there are two bathrooms in the front! I can hear the wheels under the plane...it sounds like this “swoosh! Are we there yet? I have to go to the bathroom!” Of course you do, I thought with a smile.
Now my nephew is still a baby, albeit a baby going on twenty, it seems! But he can say whatever comes to his little mind and that’s just fine. Once we grow up however, we must choose our words more carefully. (This is something I am working on myself.) God’s word says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19 I am learning from the more mature women around me to listen, think, then respond. It isn’t always easy to do. But it’s like anything else if you do it enough, eventually it will come naturally.
Some people, especially with social media, practice the twenty-four-hour rule. If something they read, upsets them, they wait twenty-four hours to respond, if they respond at all. This is very wise. Sometimes people say things out of emotions that have nothing to do with you, even if they say something directed towards you. Proverbs 15:1-2 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”
As God’s people, we are called to be peacemakers. First in sharing the gospel to encourage peace with God for those around us and secondly to bring peace to one another. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:16 What we thoughtfully say can make a great impact for the Kingdom of heaven!
Let’s pray for each other, that we may hold our tongue until our brains get in gear, for the glory of God and those we hold dear!