Sunday, April 12, 2015

watch what you put in your mouth...

One afternoon last week I was outside on a beautiful spring day and I found a plastic egg that had been dropped by a child. Looking around, I saw this cute little curly haired blond blond playing beside her dad. I asked her dad if it was her egg before giving it back to her. I then handed her that plastic egg and "zoom", faster than her dad could object, she put it in straight into her mouth. All that got me to thinking.

Have you ever noticed that babies seem to put EVERYTHING into their mouths? It seems to be the way they check things out. Adults might look closely at something or sniff it, but for a baby, into the mouth it goes!

Since Matthew 18: 2-3 tells us to come as a child, "He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,"  all that got me to thinking... how does this apply to my life today? What is it about children putting things in their mouth that I need to learn?

Little ones "test" things by how they feel in their mouth. Are they bitter? Sweet? Hard? Soft? Worthy of leaving in there or should they spit them out?

Maybe I should pay more attention to what I put in my mouth. No, this is not a post about diet...although the analogies to be made there are vast. This is more about the WORDS I put in my mouth. There's an old saying about "putting words in my mouth." Most people object to others putting words in their mouth, but I have to wonder if we all do that more often than we know.I wonder if we don't actually put other people's words in our mouth ourselves.

We repeat gossip or news that we have heard. We put the "words" we hear in the news or facebook. I have students who actually sing songs with no clue of the words they are saying! (When I asked them about the lyrics, they were shocked about the words of the song. They had never actually paid attention to the words of the songs they hummed and danced to.) I think we are all guilty of doing this when we think about it. We put everything into our mouth without giving it a second thought.

I have also been thinking a lot about my own personal need to spend more time with the Word of God. There was a time when I sang scripture, memorized it, chewed on it throughout my day. Then over time, I spent less and less time making sure I was putting God's Word in my mouth. Oh, there was still plenty I was putting in my mouth...most of it harmless enough, but occasionally something that tasted "bitter" or "hard" and that I knew had no business being in my mouth in the first place.

I know, there is also a scripture that talks about what we put into our mouth is not what defiles, but what comes out. The thing is, words simply don't seem to be content to stay inside our mouths. Words want to find their way out. Just like children repeat what they hear, we listen and before we know it the words we've heard are coming from our own lips. They become the words of OUR mouth as well.

Over time, children start to recognize what things are "okay" to put into their mouth. If their parents help them, they learn to recognize what will taste sweet and feel good when they swallow it. Without guidance, they will lean toward junk food and things that may taste sweet at the moment but eventually lead to poor health or even death. Makes me wonder if, as an adult, I can learn too. 

Yep, what we put in our mouth really does make a difference...especially when it comes to words.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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