If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
Have you ever been in a bad mood? Just a real funk where you didn't really want to think a nice word, much less say one?
In our Sunday School lesson today, we talked about Naomi, Ruth, and Orphah (from the book of Ruth if you want to refresh your memory of the story). Naomi had lost her husband and her 2 sons. She and her 2 daughters-in-law were on a long journey back to Bethlehem from Moab.
Naomi was tired.
She was hot.
She was depressed.
She had a long time to think on her trek back home.
Finally, somewhere along the way, she stopped, turned to her girls and told them to go back to Moab. That there basically was no future for any of them in Bethlehem. Naomi had no other sons and was either past or nearing the end of her child bearing age. She was upset, down, and bitter.
In effect, she was thinking of the girls' earthly well being. Back in those days, women especially foreign widows had it extremely rough. A woman's only security was being married. Naomi hadn't been to Bethlehem in at least 10 years. She had no idea what the spouse climate was there as they headed back.
Naomi wasn't thinking of Ruth and Orphah's spiritual life.
In her tired, frustrated, bitter condition, she only thought of their life on earth. If the girls had gone back to Moab, they would have certainly gone back to serving their idol gods because one tends to do what the community around one does.
One daughter-in-law listened.... one didn't. If Ruth had of been like Orphah, there never would have been a King David... nor any other descendant of Jesus through that line. Thankfully, Ruth was stubborn and wouldn't listen.
The point is that Naomi was tired. She had the best intentions, sure, but she wasn't thinking godly. She was thinking practically. Orphah was willing to go to Bethlehem with her. They were on the road there. If Naomi had of kept her mouth shut, Orphah might have married a nice man from Bethlehem, raised a good family, and believed in God.
Instead, the last we hear about Orphah is that she kissed Naomi and went back home.
Naomi's bitter attitude (though understandable) could have cost that girl her relationship was God.
We have to be so careful with what we say.... not to let our emotions get the best of us.
A nice, kind, kinda blunt person told me the other night that I had had a negative attitude and unpleasant tone the past 2 days. Well... I have to say, I was a bit upset. I mean, how dare this person say that to me? Sure, I KNEW that I was crabby... but didn't I deserve it? I have 3 small kids, work full time, lots of online things going on, housework, etc... didn't I deserve to be kinda crabby?
Well, sure, I guess that was ok. However, I sure didn't watch my tongue those few days. I didn't bless anyone out or anything, but a lot of my words weren't very uplifting or positive especially at the end of very long days when I was tired.
It is SO easy to get in a mood like that. It is a hard battle to not let your tongue win out.
Our words have lasting effects. Naomi's words had lasting affects on Orphah's life (notice there isn't a book of Orphah... and as the Sunday School class pointed out.. her name was even misspelled on 'Oprah's' birth certificate (poor woman)). Our words have a lasting effect on others. Lets not let our bad mood cause us to say something to someone else that could have unintentionally bad consequences.
God Bless you :)