2005-08-29 - Aunt Ida
Originally Published 2000-10-17
Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.
My great aunt Ida died on Saturday. She was really quite an amazing woman. She was 101.5 years old. I guess when you hit 100, you start adding the half years like kids do. I remember when I was growing up, she used to always give me her old Sunday School cards whenever I visited her. I always looked forward to getting them. In fact, I still have them. When she went into a nursing home, she attended an evangelical Bible study at the home. She was a wonderful woman.
When my mom called to tell me that Ida had died, she started off with, "Hi Tim, it's Mom." I knew something was wrong right then. I could hear it in her voice. My mom and I exchanged a few more frivolous words of introduction, and I jumped in, "Mom, what's wrong?"
You see, I knew. I could hear it in her voice. Something was amiss. And once again this confirmed to me how powerful the tongue is. With nothing spoken, but only a change in the normal voice inflection, I knew something was wrong. Isn't that amazing? Our tongue, or voice, can often discover the temper of our heart. We all know this, but our thoughts can be known by the way we employ our tongue.
Our tongues were not given to us simply to taste food, but our tongues have also been given to express the thoughts of our minds. It is sad when we use our tongues to advance corruption and sin, rather than wisdom and knowledge. (But we all have our days.) It is often true of us what the prophet Isaiah said, "I am man of polluted lips, and dwell among a people of polluted lips." Isaiah 6:5 However, it is true that misuse of the tongue turns our glory into shame.
Lastly, with our tongues, we join the angels in praising God. James 3:9, "With it, we bless our Father..." And this, I believe, will be the chief use of a Christian's tongue; with it, we will bless the Lord. I realize that on Earth, we do not spend the majority of our time blessing the Lord with our tongues, but eternity is a long time, and it seems that our occupation in Heaven will greatly involve praise. Let us practice now, and to begin, make use of our tongues in this wonderful and privileged manner.
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling