As I was thumbing through one of my files, I found a quote from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. In September of 1999 Talk Magazine listed him as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States.
During a lecture on the power and often negative impact of words, Rabbi Telushkin said: “If you cannot go for 24 hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol. If you cannot go 24 hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. Similarly, if you cannot go for 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you’ve lost control of your tongue.”
Have you lost control of your tongue? Compare your verbal characteristics to the verses below:
- James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
- Proverbs 8:7-8”For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.”
- Psalm 10:7 “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.”
- Psalm 71:8 “Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.”
- Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
As you think about what the good Rabbi said, and as you consider the Scripture above, I hope you’ll say: “Today I will:”
- Slow down enough to consider how I speak to my precious family. I will remember to thank God for each one of them. I will not curse them. I will bless them.
- Reflect the goodness of God and determine to be a conduit of His grace and love.
- See the needs of others, and help bear the burden of those who are overloaded with grief, sorrow, or some trial.
Let me suggest that you use the words of the following Psalm as a prayer for today: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).”