Okay, here is my two-fold confession. First, I am absolutely obsessed at 54 years old with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The underlying obsession truthfully is peanut butter. Even though I could have taken it or left it for decades. This isn’t a mid-life crisis; it’s a mid-life obsession. Second, I dunked a spoon into the peanut butter jar to get a bunch of it to fill my sweet special needs ministry dogs’ rubber Kong toys with peanut butter. And it would have taken an act of God to stop me from licking the spoon afterward to my heart’s content. Fortunately God seemed to be okay with my act and allowed it. But there was a problem. A sticky-stuck peanut butter problem to be precise.
There was no bread, and no jelly, to make the peanut butter a bit, well, less sticky. And given it was the all natural variety with no salt and no sugar, it was especially sticky. Miraculously my mouth was not permanently stuck. But it definitely took some serious effort to get my mouth un-sticky and moving again. Thought it took some (delicious albeit) work and time to get my mouth back fully open adequately to use it properly again, there have been countless times in my life it would have been far better to keep my mouth shut. And herein lies the message.
I believe God gave us mouths to use to love, praise, honor, serve, obey, sing to, worship, and glorify Him and to love, bless, help, encourage, inspire, support, teach, etc. others and to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ and to help them trust in Him and faithfully follow Him. I believe when God tells us to offer our bodies a living sacrifice to Him that this very much includes our mouths. And I believe there is a time and reason and purpose for our mouths to be open – and a time for our mouths to be quiet and shut.
The Bible is filled with verses about godly use of our mouths, and I wonder if you would come alongside me and strive to use your mouth as I am learning to do with mine in a way that brings God love, praise, honor, joy, pleasure, and glory! Amen!
Let us seek God’s forgiveness for when we fall short with our mouths, and let us seek His will, love, strength, grace, mercy, and power to use our mouths in a way glorifying to Him! Hallelujah! Yes!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 NKJV
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV
“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3 NKJV
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 NKJV
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” James 1:26 NKJV
“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” James 3:2-11 NKJV