Former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote about her father, who never affirmed her as a child. When she was in high school, she brought home a straight-A report card. She showed it to her dad, hoping for a word of commendation. Instead, he said, "Well, you must be attending an easy school." Decades later, the remark still burns in Mrs. Clinton’s mind. Her father’s thoughtless response may have represented nothing more than a casual quip, but it created a point of pain that has endured to this day.1
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider how a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The 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 3:3-6, NIV).
I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. (Ezekiel 39:7, NIV)
They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. (Ezekiel 44:23, NIV)
Simply let your "Yes" be "Yes," and your "No," "No"; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:37, NIV)
(Psalm 119:105, KJV). If we will use the Scriptures to guide both the tone and content of our conversations, we will be very well served indeed.
1 Martha Sherrill, "Mrs. Clinton’s Two Weeks out of Time: The Vigil for Her Father, Taking a Toll Both Public and Private," Washington Post, 3 April 1993, p. C1.
2 Laura Sessions Stepp, "Parents Are Alarmed by an Unsettling New Fad in Middle Schools: Oral Sex," Washington Post, 8 July 1999, p. 1A.
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