Jul 25, 2021 08:00am
Tame That Fiery Tongue

Have you ever been insulted? I don’t mean some passing negative word, but a true insult. One of those insults that was intended to cut you to the core, even if the person who said it didn’t truly grasp the deep injurious nature of what they said?

Some of you reading this blog have children, and some of us don’t yet. If you do, you’ve probably no doubt found yourselves in situations much like the one I’m about to describe. If you don’t, I would assume that most of you have nieces or nephews, or some small children in your life to some degree, and can most likely connect with the story nonetheless.

Imagine your child worked really hard on a project. Maybe it was a craft made of popsicle sticks, or maybe it was a work of art composed of crayons on construction paper. Regardless of the material used to create this masterpiece, here they are – as proud of their work as any renowned artist has ever been of theirs. And here they are – holding this project out in front of you – just waiting to hear your reaction. So you decide to give it to them.

“That’s awful! Good grief – can’t you do better than that?!? So amateur! I mean look, you didn’t even stay in the lines! Ha! This is what you bring me?!? And popsicle sticks – really!?! Goodness. Next time please come ask for some help – this is slightly embarrassing.”

Can you already imagine the expression on the child’s face after this ridiculous rant? Can’t you see the tears welling up in their eyes, and the disappointment written on their face? After all, this was THEIR creation – THEIR work of art – the product of THEIR hands – the end result of potentially HOURS of work and concentration. And now, with a single hard-hearted rant, you’ve torn it all apart with your words.

The art wasn’t the true victim of your insult – the artist was.

Now imagine that next time you tear down someone – anyone – for something in them you despise 

  • or belittle someone
  • or attempt to destroy them through gossip or slander 
  • or – whether you intentionally set out to hurt them – simply let your tongue flap without considering the real consequences of doing so 
  • or speak down to or about someone because of the color of their skin . . . 

do you understand who is truly being insulted here?

Imagine the Creator God seeing – hearing – witnessing ALL you say, as you in effect say, “Really?! This is it?! This is what you made!? This is the best YOU can do!?”

Now, there are some glaring differences in these scenarios, the main being that I don’t believe God wells up with tears of embarrassment or disappointment when we run our mouths about creation. As a matter of fact, in the story of Job we see Him “bowing up” a bit and reminding Job (though in slightly difference circumstances) that HE was, in fact, the Creator and that He, in fact, DIDN’T ask for anyone’s opinion or input when He made all that was.

So next time I open up my mouth to speak negative words that would tear down instead of build up, or that would hurt someone’s testimony or influence instead of encourage it – I’m praying God will speak to my heart with a simple reminder that I didn’t do the whole creation thing – He did, and the truth is He did a very good job of it. And I really don’t care to insult this Artist with my words. (Check out Ephesians 4:29.)                                    

That’s just a thought, and I welcome yours.

Until next time,


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