By Pastor Ron Buxton
A woman went into the office of a divorce lawyer. She had just been in a fight with her husband, and she had enough. After sitting in front of the attorney, he began to question her about seeking a divorce. “Do you have grounds?”, he asked.
With tears in her eyes, she responded, “Just two acres”.
Puzzled, he continued to ask: “I mean, do you have a grudge?”
“No”, she said, “We park the cars on the curb in front of the house”.
“What?” replied the lawyer, “I’m not understanding. Does your husband actually beat you up?”
“No”, she said, “I always get up before he does, especially on the weekends”.
Shaking his head, the lawyer was now baffled. “Why, I ask you, are you seeking a divorce?”
Wiping tears from her eyes, she responded, “We just don’t seem to be able to communicate!”
Folks, there is a very real problem with communication in our society today. And this is much more evident within smaller communities. I know of which I speak, as I’ve recently moved into a small town.
In World War II, there were many successful propaganda campaigns directed to the American public. One such slogan was a very memorable phrase. It was: “Loose Lips Sink Ships!” What we speak can (and often does) have catastrophic consequences—if we’re not careful. We might never be guilty of some naval disaster from a foreign aggressor, but nonetheless, careless communication can create catastrophic consequences! Let me be frank. We really need to filter what comes out of our mouths, especially regarding conversations about somebody else. As a barista in a coffee shop, I listen to far more gossip than the average person. And, sadly, it is so easy to get pulled into those conversations.
However, the Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the danger of “loose lips”. Should we not heed the Bible’s warnings, we will do so at the peril of our entire community. You see, we are all in this metaphorical “ship” called life together. Social disintegration results from careless communication. It will sink us all!
Proverbs 18:18 tells us– “the words of a gossip are like delicious morsels”. They taste so good to unregenerate palates! And that’s the problem. People who have not surrendered that “appetite” to God will continue to snack on what destroys healthy communities. You are what you eat, and although it sounds horrible, many people have been devouring their co-workers and neighbors for years!
The catastrophic consequences of careless communication can only be conquered through surrender to Christ. He came to redeem all of us. And that includes our tongues! Please listen. Have you ever thought that your surrender to God benefits your community? As a local pastor, I get tired of baling water out of the leaking vessel that our town has become. Surrender to Christ, and your “loose lips” can become a life-giving blessing to others in our community!