Sunday, August 2, 2009

Taming the Tongue

Not too long ago while teaching a 1st grade Sunday school class, I had given each of these 6 & 7 year olds a travel sized tube of toothpaste. "Are we going to learn how to keep our teeth clean", one student asked. "Oh no, we are going to learn something much more important", I stated. The first thing I had the children do was squeeze all the toothpaste out of the tube onto a paper plate. Squeals and giggles filled the room as they performed this task.

When I saw everyone was finished I said, "well, it seems everyone got their toothpaste out quite easily, didn't they"? Boisterous confirmation spilled through the air with pride and laughter. It was a sight to see the smiles plastered on their faces, knowing what was coming next. "Since you kids had such an easy time getting all that toothpaste out of the tube, I want you to put all of the toothpaste back in". Suddenly the smiles turned into perplexing wonder, as you could hear a pin crash to the floor. One child raised his hand and said, "but we can't do that. Once you squeeze the toothpaste out, you can't put it back in".

Profound simplicity isn't it?

The lesson was to help these children understand that once words are shot out of our mouths, it is impossible to ever take them back.

Anyone with children knows, that rarely do they keep comments to themselves and more often than not, they never mean to hurt with intent. Adults however, should know better. Instead, we allow words to spew from our tongue with intention to hurt and harm others.

This weeks effort is an attempt to look at ourselves and how our words affect others. Even if you don't have children, you were a child at one time and I am certain that you can remember when you were destroyed by the hurtful words of others. Remember, that you yourself, can change the way others speak to you. You can create intimacy with anyone you communicate with. Because a kind tongue, contagious!

Have an intimate day!


1 comment:

  1. What a great exercise to do with the children. It would be a good one to do with adults too. You make a very good point about the irreparable nature of words. They are so powerful and they shouldn't be used unwisely.