Why God Gave Me a Tongue
By Dr. James L. Snyder
One thing about getting older is that you begin to understand the old saying that you don’t know what you don’t know. It has been so true for me. When I think I know everything, something comes up that I never even thought about.
Sometimes The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage brings up something that I need to learn and she is a persuasive teacher.
Truth be told, I didn’t really know what my tongue was all about. It’s been in my mouth from before the time I was born. And yet recently, I discovered a new aspect of my tongue.
The other day I snuck out of the house and went down to a restaurant, which shall be undisclosed here, to get a senior coffee and an Apple Fritter.
Apple Fritters are not permitted in our home. For some reason, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage does not allow Apple Fritters to be part of my diet. She has explained this many times, and yet I still do not know the whole reason behind it.
And yet, sometimes I get a yearning for an Apple Fritter. I can only restrain that yearning for so long before I succumb to the desire to go and get one. I knew I could not bring it home, or I would be in some deep trouble, so I stayed at that unmentioned restaurant and enjoyed my coffee and Apple Fritter.
As I was enjoying my time with my coffee and Apple Fritter, I suddenly became aware of something.
It is amazing how often I come up with something that I’ve never come up with before. I had an idea that I never thought about before.
The idea had everything to do with my tongue. How many times have I ever thought about my tongue? It’s in my mouth, I assume it’s doing its job, and forget it’s there.
As I was munching on my Apple Fritter, I began to understand the purpose of my tongue, which had nothing to do with wagging.
As I thought about it, the thought that dominated my mind was simply this, if it weren’t for my tongue, I would not know how delicious this Apple Fritter really was.
For a moment, I was frozen in time, and for the first time in my life, I began to appreciate my tongue.
I laid my Apple Fritter down on a napkin and just admired it for a few moments. There it was in all of its magnificent glory and delicious taste. I don’t know who invented the Apple Fritter, but they deserve a Nobel Peace Prize from my point of view.
I was going to savor this moment, and I slowly picked up the Apple Fritter, took a bite, and laid it back down on the napkin. I let that piece marinate in my mouth and let my tongue do its work.
My tongue was very busy at that moment, conveying to me a most delicious aspect of that Apple Fritter. I never would’ve guessed that my tongue was so important to me.
I mentally made a note that I would take better care of my tongue than I’d ever done before. My tongue has become my favorite companion.
Sitting there, the waitress came up and said, “Is everything okay?”
I looked at her, tossed her a wonderful smile, and said, “Yes, everything is perfect.”
She smiled at me and then went back to her job.
I thought of the word “perfect” and how it related to my tongue. I don’t know about other days, but today my tongue was perfect in expressing the delicious nature of that Apple Fritter.
I was wrestling with a little temptation at the time. I was tempted to go up to the counter and order another Apple Fritter. I remembered that hymn that says, “Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.” Oh, how I wanted to sin at that moment. I did not yield, but I did enjoy the last bite of that marvelous Apple Fritter.
Glancing at my watch, I realized I needed to finish up here and get home. It was so hard to leave behind such a delicious experience.
Leaving the restaurant, I noticed my tongue wagging back and forth in my mouth, most of the Apple Fritter I just ate.
I got home and walked in the front door. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was there and looking at me, she said, “Where have you been? And, what’s wrong with your tongue?”
Smiling at her, I simply said, “My tongue is wonderful. We had a wonderful time together.”
Looking at me rather strangely she said, “Oh, yeah?”
I knew I could not tell her of my experience of the day, and I don’t think she would’ve understood. Some things are better left to yourself. This was one of them. No way could she understand what I experienced with my tongue and my Apple Fritter.
In thinking about this I was reminded of a person’s Scripture. “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).
A tongue can either be a blessing or a curse. It just determines how you use it. I can use my tongue for good and bless people or, I can allow my tongue to be a curse. God gave me my tongue, now I need to use it for his honor and glory.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com
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