One of my favorite movies from my teenage years is Dumb and Dumber. There is a poignant scene where Lloyd drives several hours in the wrong direction on his and his friend Harry’s trek across the United States. Harry blows a gasket at the mishap, and it’s in that scene that Lloyd screams out, “Oh, well pardon me, Mr. Perfect—I guess I forgot you never ever make a mistake!” And then Lloyd breaks down into tears over both his foolishness and his friend’s rejection of him. In doing so, he highlights the fact that none of us is perfect, and as James says, “we all stumble in many ways.” The main way we know this is by the words that escape our mouths. Of all of the things in our bodies that we have to control, perhaps the tongue is the hardest to actually handle. When a person finally learns to bridle his or her tongue, then the whole body is in submission. It’s much like a horse with a bit. I don’t know about you, but taming my tongue is one of my hardest pursuits in life. I have gotten to the point where one of my morning prayers is that God will help to say only those things that are uplifting to others because I know that I’m more than capable of doing the opposite. Do you have suggestions on learning how to control your words? If so, I’d love to hear them!
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.