In the wee early hours this morning as I drove the distance between my office to home, of all the crazy and ridiculous things, I got super-glue stuck on my tongue. Here I had stopped by Krystals (at that hour there is nothing else opened) and grabbed me a couple of their squared-cut burgers (I wonder though if their meat qualifies as a burger... what kind of meat might you call that?). While digging through my purse for my wallet in need for my money, I broke a nail (the fake kind) while waiting in line. So, I did what any artificially-fingernailed-girl would do, I found my super-glue and glued it back on. Only the glue that I was using was jellied and sticky and gooey and it refused to dry for miles. Then, while eating my pickled and mustarded weird-shaped burger as I drove toward my home I unknowingly touched my finger to my mouth and got super-glue stuck to my tongue. How embarrassing! And how irritating is that! For though it didn't stick my tongue to the roof of my mouth or anything, it left a sanded-textured feeling inside; it was irritating (because I couldn't get it off) and aggravating (because it was so dumb), and it colored the taste of everything else that I ate. I had to laugh though after thinking about it... and I felt that God was shaking His head with a quirked smile at my ridiculousness and said with a nod and with eyes that twinkled, "Now Sharon, that'll teach. There's definitely a lesson in there."
For how often do we open our mouths and put something in it that sticks to our tongues as though super-glued? And we find it irritating and aggravating and it colors our tastes of everything else that we eat, without actually ever sticking our tongues to the roof of our mouths (though maybe surely it needs to!)? We get a morsel of some gossip, or someone has made us mad.... so we take the thing that we've just tasted and begin chewing and spewing and telling that thing that's become stuck to our tongues to everybody that we can find to tell in our paths. We've clamped our jaws tightly around it and so we shake it furiously to all that will let us and all that'll listen. That bit of bait has become as if super-glued to our tongues and it causes everything else that we're eating to taste funny as well.
There are lots of Scripture that we could use here about gossip and backbiting and slander and our words used in anger and mean; but to me Galatians 5:15 seems to sum it up well: "If you keep on backbiting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." We must stop biting back when we feel we've been biten! We must quit devouring each other and ourselves. When things seem to get sticky and gooey in my mouth with a tendency to want to get stuck to my tongue I've often prayed Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." And I have literally asked God to do what He did to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:26, "I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are rebellious..." And I've asked God to keep it sealed and stuck there still (as it tells in the following verse) until He's given me the words of His to say and until He renders it safe for me to again open it and begin speaking (His words and not mine).
Not a minute before! Not a second too early!
You know James (in chapter 3) has a quite a lot to say about the tongue and the great forest that is set on fire by its spark. He tells us that the tongue is able to "corrupt the whole person, (and) set the whole course of his life on fire." And he also says (1:26), "If anyone considers himself righteous and does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." Ew, strong statement of truth that we often fail to give enough attention and consideration to.
Super-glue indeed... it's not made for the tongue. There might be something stuck on you, that's not made to be either. If everything seems to taste a bit funny in your world today, might you check to see if you've got something stuck to your tongue? You might want to do a sound-check... to see what your audience is hearing? And do a double-check round about you... to see if you've got quite a fire set burning? Check to see what you're eating... and if it doesn't steady well with you, spit the stuff out and quit spewing it out onto others.
So... how's your tongue? Got anything stuck to it there?
Just thinking more about that whole crazy tongue thing.. I feel that sometimes we look like the bullfrog that's croaking.... sitting there all puffed out, trying to catch what he can... as he lashes his tongue out for the bugs that he's aimed for to catch. Some people thrive on such drama. In certain seasons we're all more prone to find ourselves doing it. Do you know how silly that looks? Is that the look you're going for? Might it be the look you're currently dressed in? And just wondering.... are you happy dressed in that mean? Might we all note that tongue lashing doesn't bring either the lash-ee nor the lash-er much joy; but it's the lasher that God is displeased with!