Sweet & Salty

 

Read: Ephesians 4:20-32 &  James 3:1-12     

Some people prefer sweet snacks, others prefer salty, and some prefer a mix of both together.  What is your preference?  When it comes to our language and speech however, God prefers us to use the sweet and not the salty.  Many verses in the Bible refer to how the tongue can be an encouragement and blessing; but it also warns us that it can lead us down dangerous paths as well.

Most will remember that this advice is even included as one of the Ten Commandments. The third commandment in Exodus 20 says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”  In Ephesians 4: 29 the apostle Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths…”

Branch Rickey is a member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame and was a long-time manager of several major league baseball teams.  He is probably best known for his efforts of giving Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player a promotion to the major leagues.  That story is told in the recent movie entitled “42.” Branch Rickey was a Christian.

One time when he was at a meeting negotiating a player’s contract he threw down his pencil in the middle of the meeting, pushed back his chair, and said, “the deal’s off.”  The other men were astonished. “Why?” they asked. “We’re coming along with these negotiations very nicely.”

Rickey responded to the salty and callous use of language being spewn about in the room.  He said, “You have been talking about a friend of mine, and I don’t like it.”  One man said, “What friend do you mean? I haven’t been talking about anyone, let alone a friend of yours.”

“Yes, you have,” replied Rickey.  “You’ve mentioned him in almost every sentence.”  He was referring to their constant profane use of the name of Jesus Christ.  The men quickly apologized, stopped their profanity and misuse of God’s name, and the negotiations continued.”

More than likely we have been involved in similar situations, or perhaps we have been the one participating in such profanity or mis-use of God’s name. In James 3:10-11 the Bible says, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”

Make It Personal: 

 Is your language and speech sweet, salty, or a mix of both?  God desires us to use our tongues in ways that encourage, build-up, and inspire people, not in ways that bring people down and spread cursing and profanity.  Try to use language that makes others feel blessed to be around you and honor God with all that you say.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church