Comedian Brian Regan has a funny little bit (reality is, he’s got lots of funny bits!) on his propensity to blurt things out without thinking. . . and then trying desperately and without success to pull them back in. Like when the gate agent sends you down the boarding ramp with a “Have a nice flight!” and you reply, “You too!” Now if that was the most extreme personal example I could give, I’d be in great shape!
This morning I read th powerful and convicting bit of advice from Eric Gaudion in Encounter With God: “Words once spoken are irrevocable. Our words can have very long-lasting effects upon our children, even when we are not always aware of what is going on in their minds. My wife and I always tried to be aware of the presence of little ears at our meal tables.”
Boom. . . that’s a knife to my heart. Even though my kids’ ears are now grown, I think about the many times – past and present – that my big mouth blurts out unfiltered words that leave an impression. Usually, I know I’ve said things that shouldn’t have been said. And like Brian Regan, I want to pull the words right back in. Sometimes, however, I don’t even see that I’ve said things with words, manners, or tones that should not have been used. Reality is, once those words have been spilled out on the floor, there’s no picking them up.
And boom. . . that’s probably a knife to your heart too.
Our kids are watching. They’re listening. They’re processing. And, they’re learning.
In Matthew 15:18 Jesus says this – “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” When I’m consciously seeking to fill my heart with God’s Word, goodness is more apt to cascade out of my mouth. And when I fail to fill the well of my heart with the things of God, I will by default be filling my heart with the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil. So to speak in ways that promote flourishing in our kids and everyone else around us, we must be relentless in our pursuit of filling our own ears, minds, and hearts with God’s Word.
Our big mouths can spew either big lies, or big truths.