Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 25: Year 2
“As you fence in your property with thorns, so make a door and a bolt for your mouth. As you lock up your silver and gold, so make balances and scales for your words. Take care not to err with your tongue, and fall victim to one lying in wait.” (Ecclesiasticus 28:24to 26)
This reading from Ecclesiasticus for today begins with the destruction that slander can cause. Slander is a weapon of the tongue. And as we can see this passage ends back with the warning of the tongue, that is, the mouth and the hurtful words our mouths can produce.
There are other places in the Bible that caution us about the harm that the tongue can cause. Most notable for Christians is the letter of James where he writes, “For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.” (James 3:7 to 9)
How often we might say something we really don’t mean, or, say something in a heated moment from which we have moved on, and feel differently later. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be heated. It is just what we think or believe at the time. I tell my students all the time that what they think or feel today, if we are opened to evolve, we could change as we learn more. Therefore we must respect where others are on their journey and also realize we too could change as we learn. We should guard against what we say, always. I use a personal mantra to help me remember not to speak too freely. I call it dust, and it stands for, “Don’t unnecessarily share thoughts.” If I remember to use this management tool it helps me, and prevents me from saying something I may regret later. Feel free to use it for yourself.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John