Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Thursday, July 30
“Lay your hand upon your mouth.”
Pr 30:32 AMP
MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD (1)
Your tongue is just inches from your brain, but the way some of us rattle on you’d think our mouths and minds were miles apart! James says, “The tongue…corrupts the whole person” (Jas 3:5-6 NIV). Author Ramona Cramer Tucker writes: “I admit I’m a talker …I don’t set out to break a confidence, but somehow my mouth kicks into gear before my brain…But God takes a clear stand on gossip. He knows loose lips can ruin another person’s reputation, introduce mistrust into a relationship, encourage the gossiper to embellish their tale, and cause them to sin by being tempted to lie when confronted…I love to share news, to be ‘in the know,’ and because I’m wired this way it’s easy for me to spread gossip under the guise of being well-meaning, even prefacing my news with ‘I wish you’d pray for’…But just because my sharing is well-meant doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.” The most common reason for making someone else look bad—is to make ourselves look good! We are like the proud Pharisee in the temple who stood alone and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people” (Lk 18:11 NCV). The writer of Proverbs says, “If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or…thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth.” It’s one thing to think bad thoughts—it’s another to voice them. The saying goes: “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!” So do yourself and everybody around you a favor—practice putting your brain in gear before engaging your mouth.
Friday, July 31
“If we could control our tongues.”
Jas 3:2 NLT
MAKING YOURSELF LOOK GOOD (2)
When you’re upset, it’s tempting to “hand out other people’s dirty laundry.” But making yourself look good at somebody else’s expense always backfires. One Christian author observes: “That righteous feeling turns to shame faster than you can walk away, hang up the phone, or hit ‘send.’…I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to get control over your tongue. I wish someone had warned me to stop talking and start praying.” A lady named Michelle learned her lesson the hard way. She was having lunch with a co-worker at a restaurant and they visited the ladies’ room. While they were fixing their hair they started to talk about people at work who drove them crazy. Immediately Michelle launched into a diatribe about Beth, a co-worker who had no idea how much trouble she created for the rest of the team. As Michelle prepared to launch into more specifics, a stall door opened and out walked Beth, flushed and upset. In a split second what felt like a pressure-relief session turned into an embarrassing mess…Beth ran out in tears, and Michelle couldn’t take back the words she’d said. Beth never returned to work, and the next day she resigned. While her co-workers openly cheered at what they considered to be good news, Michelle was miserable…She tried to call Beth, and even wrote a letter of apology, but there was no response. And what’s worse, Michelle is a Christian and Beth made no such profession. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated (See Mt 7:12). What goes around comes around, and idle chatter will surely come back to haunt you.