Unmarked Poison
Helen Dowd

Psalm 141:3 "Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."

Do you remember when you were a small child your parents would pick up a bottle of poison and show you the picture of a skull and cross bones? They taught you that that sign was a sign of poison. They warned you not to touch it, because it could kill you.

Do you remember when you were a child and said something naughty, how your mother would take you to the bathroom and wash your mouth out with soap? The next time, before you said that same thing, you would remember the soap, and stop before you spoke, wouldn't you? Your mother was trying to teach you to control your tongue. But did she?

How often do we forget those things our parents tried to teach us! Have you ever engaged in spewing poison from your mouth into someone's ear? I have. I remembered all those lessons my parents tried to teach me, but at the same time, I just wanted to get a hold of that bottle of poison and spew it out, at someone's expense.

I am talking about gossip. I know gossip is wrong. I know gossip is damaging. I know that words spoken cannot be retrieved; yet, sometimes, when I am not letting the Holy Spirit take control in my life, I give in to the evil of gossip. It is tempting to sit and have a gabfest with a friend, exchanging juicy bits of information--which may even be true--to the detriment of your target. But, has the shoe ever been on the other foot? Have YOU been the target of someone else's gossip? It hurts doesn't it?

Or perhaps the poison you may be spitting out about someone isn't even gossip. Perhaps it is just foolish talking, jesting, joking around and poking fun at someone. That hurts, too. And it is just as damaging.

James 3:5-6: Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth - And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Oh Lord, I do ask that You'll give me today
Only words that are gentle and kind.
May Thy grace be reflected in things that I say:
Love, Joy, Peace, and Wisdom combined.

Helen Dowd.

See: Tongue Attack

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