“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Last week I wrote a blog and touched on the need for us to be encouragers. I want to pick up on this again this week as we begin a new week of Freedom Fighter blogs.
When we moved to America’s Keswick twenty-five years ago, I learned that senior citizens have no filter. I should have already known that – but I wasn’t prepared for how bad it would be.
I learned that as a senior you can say what you want, to whomever you want, however you want, whenever your want. It didn’t matter how hurtful it was. As a senior, you apparently have earned the right to say what is on your mind.
I remember the Sunday that I was leading worship in Pennsylvania and a long-time Sunday School teacher came up to me, chewed me up, and spit me out because we sang the praise choruses in a medley – “This is the Day The Lord Has Made and I Will Enter His Gates.” She told me that I shouldn’t be having the congregation sing unbiblical and unscriptural songs.
You should have seen the look on her face when I took her to the passages of Scriptures that these songs come from. She stomped off in a huff.
When I came to America’s Keswick there were two old spinster ladies who came and complained about EVERYTHING! They literally yelled at me because we served all microwaved food for breakfast. Really? What an insult to our chefs who were in at 4:00 AM preparing a fabulous breakfast.
As the breakfast line was slowing down, I saw these two old girls heading back to the buffet line with their big pocketbooks. I watched them putting the sausages and French toast in big bags in their pocketbooks. I admit, I was bad. I came up from behind and said, “Wow, I didn’t think you liked microwaved food?”
Later that day, the one lady went up to a staff member who was struggling with her weight. In front of her peers, she said to the staff member – “Is it fat or fetus?” I sent these two ladies home.
At a Pastor’s conference one year, we have three very sweet African American women Pastors attend our conference. Keep in mind that, for our ministry, this is typically an all-male Pastor’s event. They were graduates of Philadelphia College of the Bible and were serving in the inner city of Philadelphia.
At the last session, a snarky older Pastor came up to them, in front of other Pastors and wives who were speaking with them, and ask them where they attended Bible College. Then he asked where they went to seminary, and they said they didn’t; his next comment floored me. He said, “What is it about you black people – you never finish anything!” I was so sickened and embarrassed.
I am at the point in my Bible reading schedule where I am in the book of Proverbs. This book has so much to say about the power of my words and the impact of my tongue. The Bible does not give us a free pass with the use of words. It doesn’t give seniors the privilege of saying whatever they want.
Robert Hayes used to say, “Just because something comes into your head doesn’t mean you have permission to say it!”
My heart grieves at the ungodly, malicious, and vicious comments that Christians make. Some of these saints are so insistent that the truth of God be proclaimed and not be compromised. It also has to be preached from the King James Version. But somehow there is a BIG disconnect about the use of their tongue. It grieves the heart of God.
My prayer for years has been and still is – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Think about your words before you speak them!
Undivided: By Christ, In Christ, For Christ,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte: President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.