READ: James 3: 5-10


"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

     Keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141: 3 (NIV)


As soon as the words passed my lips, I felt terrible! I sincerely believed that I was truly a Christian brimming with His love! Yet I had uttered sharp words at my life mate! Momentary, I took solace in that my complaint was not inaccurate but as I reviewed my comments; I realized that they were completely out of balance with the level of the perceived offense!


As I lamented my outburst, I recalled the verse that my mother used to recite to me when I complained about taunting by my older siblings or peers:


"Sticks and stones will break my bones;

      but words cannot hurt me!"


Even as a young lad I doubted the validity of those words and as I matured I became convinced that they truly inaccurate! In other words, my mother was wrong! Words do have the power to hurt and even destroy - not only to the recipient of them but also to the one who said them!


The remorse that I felt probably surpassed the pain of my spouse! I deeply recognized that I had not only offended her but I had fallen well short of what my Lord expected of me! A double whammy!! My sincere apology to her was graciously accepted but what about my seemingly overwhelming guilt? Truly, a matter for repentance was at hand and a plea for renewed strength to become more of the person that He intended me to be! Hopefully, this lesson will not be soon forgotten and will serve as a vehicle for me to more carefully guard the doors of my lips!