Ages ago I started praying daily that God would "search me and see what wicked ways there are in me." I thought I knew my Top Five sins already, but He surprised me by flagging one I considered minor. He used multiple and redundant means, coincidences, and people in my life till I felt I was in a movie full of product placement ads. And they all said: "Your tongue!"
The next two weeks of blog posts will be devoted to these little trips to the woodshed with God about my most troublesome and consequential bodily organ. Today's focus I will call "confessions of a materialist."
I had not begun to understand the mystery of the spoken word. I am a Christian but have lived as a materialist. Though I was aware that my life since childhood has taken a few fatal forks in the road because of words spoken at me or by me, I have remained dull to the deeper import of this.
My friend David wrote to me: "Our inclination is to think that if a 'white lie' or shaded truth slips by unnoticed, then nothing bad has come from it. In reality, the spiritual laws . . . ensure that a negative result occurs. It is as certain as physics. There is always a consequence, if even we are not aware of it---which is usually the case. And which is why we assume that we've 'gotten away with it.'" When a person speaks a deception, he recedes a little bit more into the darkness, his vision becomes a little bit more clouded, but he knows it not.
I started repenting. I am also trying to wait a few seconds before answering a question---attempting thus to eliminate all exaggeration, half-truths, flattery, faithless comments, and other worthless forms of speech. The early results have been ecstatic foretastes. The payoff of taming the tongue turns out to be more broad, deep, and wide than expected. I thought I was just changing one thing, but I discovered I was changing everything.
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