In a 1995 interview, actor Mickey Rooney, who died recently at the age of 93, spoke about an encounter that changed his life forever. He said that while going through the lowest point in his life, a busboy in a Lake Tahoe coffee shop with "blond curls, a white-rose complexion, and shining teeth" leaned toward him and whispered in his ear, “Mr. Rooney, Jesus Christ loves you very much” and promptly left. He says he thought about it for a couple of minutes and then went to look for the busboy to ask him more about it. He never found him and the coffee shop employees insisted there was no busboy there that fit his description. As it happens often, to this day no one knows for sure if this was an angel or an ordinary human being, but here’s the point: Certain words given to a certain person at the right time can often change that person’s life forever. Proverbs 15:23 says: A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word!
I don’t suppose I have to convince you that the words that come out of our mouth can either help or harm those who hear them. Someone once told me that one reason many folks’ conversation includes one four letter word after another is that their vocabulary is very limited and they don’t know alternate words. I’m not too sure about that one, but I do know, by hearing the testimonies of many, that the Lord can greatly enhance, improve, and even clean a person’s daily vocabulary. In fact, He did it for me.
Just a few days ago, I read about the general manager of the Toronto Raptors being fined 25 thousand dollars by the NBA for using a two-word expletive in a public setting directed at their present playoff opponents, the Brooklyn Nets. In the recent past, we’ve all heard about high-profile figures who have lost their jobs or reputations for just one slip of the tongue. Nevertheless, our main motivation for being more careful and selective about the words we speak should not be merely about the fear of hurting ourselves. No, if our hearts are right with God, we should do it because we really care about others and want to bless them, not harm them.
Memory verse for the week: (Colossians 3:15) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.