Guard Needed

Source :

"Liar!" Tabitha clenched the receiver as she yelled into the phone. "You're a rotten liar! I hate you!" Tabitha slammed down the receiver.

"Tabitha! I don't like what I heard just now!" exclaimed Mom. "What was that all about?"

"Janelle told me she wouldn't enter our art contest this year, but she did," Tabitha answered angrily. "I'd have won if she hadn't entered."

"Oh, honey, Janelle has as much right to enter the contest as you do," Mom reminded her. "I'm sure she enjoys winning, too."

"Yes, but she knows how much I wanted to win," wailed Tabitha, "and she said she wouldn't enter, but she did."

"That doesn't excuse the way you talked to her," said Mom. "You draw very beautifully, Tabitha, but calling people names is not beautiful."

"I don't care." Tabitha headed for her room. "She is a liar," she called back.

While Mom prepared supper that evening, Tabitha's little sister Lori picked up a tube of biscuits. She banged it on the table, and suddenly . . . POP! A doughy mess oozed through the split in the tube. Lori's pudgy little fingers tried to push it back in.

Tabitha, who had just come in, laughed. "You can't put dough back in a tube after it comes out," she said. "Here. I'll take care of that."

Their brother Don wandered in from the family room. "I saw Janelle's sister Malia this afternoon," he told Tabitha. "She says you're mad at Janelle--but that you shouldn't be. Malia told me she's the one who entered that picture in the contest. Janelle didn't even know about it and was shocked when her name was announced as the winner."

Tabitha bit her lip. Oh, no! she thought. Janelle said she didn't know how come her picture was entered! I wish I had believed her and hadn't said those mean things. Tabitha felt awful. "I-I-I'll apologize," she stammered.

"You need to do that," agreed Mom, "but you know, like the biscuit dough that oozed out of the tube, words can't ever really be put back. Perhaps that's why God warns us to be careful how we use our tongues." She sighed. "I hope your hateful words haven't ruined your friendship."

How About You?
Have unkind words or names popped out of your mouth? Have you been sorry about something said in anger, or perhaps simply said without thinking how it might hurt someone else? Have you wanted to take the words back? You can't do that . . . but you can and should apologize if you've said unkind things. Be sure to tell God you're sorry, too. Then follow His advice. Guard your mouth and tongue.

Today's Key Verse:
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

Today's Key Thought:
Guard your mouth and tongue