7 A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. Proverbs 18:7
5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6
18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. 1 John 3:18-19<
I think out loud. It’s not good. I mean it works okay, but it is not without its difficulties. I end up apologizing a lot because the things I say haven’t been processed or fine tuned. It reminds me of a saying I must have heard a bazillion times from my dad: Engage brain before opening mouth. It was great advice, but really hard for someone with my personality and tendencies.
The word from John’s epistle seems to be a partial antidote to the problem. If we depend on our mouths and words to convince people that they are loved and treasured, we’re going to be sadly disappointed and a big disappointment. We need to balance and back up our words with actions. It really is true that people can’t hear what we’re saying because of what we’re doing.
It is also true that when our actions negate our words we have a problem. People are watching us for consistency and integrity. These are the currency of love. Will we take the time to invest or spend thoughtlessly?
As we move more deeply into holiday times and family gatherings, my prayer is that we will be more conscious of the words we speak, the actions that we share, and the love we want to communicate. God could have just told us his plan, but instead: God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)