Shepherd Sayings February 8, 2018
The Bible gives us the definition of a perfect person. “If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect person” (James 3:2). I do not remember ever meeting a perfect person. Nor, it seems, did James for vs. 3-12 are a description of the misuse of the tongue. The Psalmist, speaking of the beauty and blessings of correct words said, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Psalm 25:11).
There is much need for wisdom in speaking. For words, when spoken, cannot be recalled and fixed. They are forever loosed upon the airwaves of eternity. Forever to live in the mind of someone.
There is an old Jewish story about a woman who came to her rabbi and told him that she had been telling things about her neighbors that were not true – lies. She wanted the rabbi to help her make everything right.
He told her to go and pluck a chicken and scatter the feathers all the way from her home to his, then to gather them up again and bring them to him. He promised her that if she did this he would give her his answer. She agreed and left. The next day she came back and told the rabbi that she had done as she was instructed. She had plucked the chicken and scattered the feathers. But, she said, she could not bring the feathers to him for the wind had scattered them everywhere. Then the rabbi said, “Lies are like feathers. Once you have scattered them, it is impossible to pick them all up again. You cannot undo the damage or completely change it. So, from now on, make up your mind to speak only the truth.”
The truth is obvious. We need the help of the Almighty to handle our words. A good prayer is, “Oh Lord, set a guard over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.” Amen!