If you had been in my car before, you will know that I don’t really do the road rage thing. I don’t curse and swear. I don’t shout. I don’t speak sign language of any kind. But I do get upset when people don’t drive like I expect them to. And I do call them names. If I am in an English conversation, whoever upset me will be called an idiot. If the conversation is Afrikaans, he / she will be called a ‘brood’. That is it. Just that. “Jou brood”. “You idiot”. That person would never know that I was upset. He would never know that I called him an idiot. I never felt bad about it. I actually felt good about it. I thought I was quite well-behaved. Until yesterday.
I drove from work and just before the first robot somebody cut in front of me.
Me: “You idiot”.
God: “He was made in my image too”.
Me: “I know but he doesn’t know how to drive”.
God: “He drives differently than you do. He makes mistakes, just like you. He is not an idiot. I created Him in my image”.
I sat for a while at the next robot while these words fully dropped down into the depths of my heart. I have heard them before but they never dropped deep enough to make a difference. This time they did.
Me: “I am sorry Lord. I won’t say that again to another person”.
And so my trouble started. I wonder how many cars cut in front of me yesterday. I called them all idiots and apologised immediately. I counted three pedestrians that appeared from nowhere and started crossing the street right in front of me without looking in one direction, let alone two. I called them idiots too. And apologised again. One car crossed the road, narrowly missed an oncoming car, and somehow, I don’t know how, he missed me too. I called him an idiot and didn’t apologise. Eventually I got to the Spar, in one piece. Only to find all the close by parking taken, except one. But I couldn’t get in there because the driver of the adjacent car parked like, well, he didn’t park nicely.
Eventually, on the treadmill in the gym, the lights came on. I couldn’t do this on my own. It’s a habit hard to break.
Me: “Lord please help me. Please put a guard in front of my mouth so that I will never again call somebody an idiot”.
You guessed it. I drove out of the gym and a pedestrian crossed the road in front of me. I got it right this time. My lips were firmly pressed together. I am not saying I have it all under control. I don’t. But I’ve asked God again this morning to help me control my tongue and He will never forsake me. If I try this on my own, my guard will go AWOL immediately. But if God placed him there, he wouldn’t dare.
My challenge to you today: search your heart. What comes out of your mouth that shouldn’t? It might be lies. It might be harsh words to those closest to you. It could be gossip. It could be words of rebellion against your parents or other powers placed over you. It could be foul language. Whatever it might be, ask God to reveal it to you. Ask God then to put a guard at your mouth too.
Proverbs 15:2 – The tongues of wise people give good expression to knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out a flood of stupidity.