My grandmother would say to me, “Your mouth is going to get you in trouble.” She accused me of talking way too much for a youngin barely able to make up a bed. In her day, kids were to occupy themselves with quiet play, and never to be so brassy as to interject in grown folk’s business. As with every new generation, mine was viewed as a new opinionated breed. This, coupled with an insatiable curiosity, presented a sassiness that often shocked my grandmother. By the time I was a skin-tight jeans wearing teenager, she was utterly stunned by the antics she witnessed on TV and saw reflected in me and my siblings. We were completely outside the box, and nowhere in the contextual framing of her thought process was she able to connect the wires that made us act the way we did.
The combination of pants too tight and a mouth too loose never diminished my grandmother’s love and care, but it earmarked the differences between us. Of course, compared to today, the antics of my generation were mild to say the least. Talk about jeans too tight, today they’re a little more than stockings. Some of the things that bothered my grandmother about my generation are championed in today’s society, and perhaps necessary for progression and freedom of expression. But as with most generations, ours lacked the patience to weed out the less useful, while cherishing many of the priceless jewels from those before us.
My grandparents, and fore-parents before them, had a boatload of what many people lack today, common sense and wisdom. Proverbs 4:7(NIV) tells us, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Plenty of people have knowledge, but few seek the wisdom and understanding that comes from God’s Word.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us that through His divine Word, God has given us everything that we need for living a Godly life. His Word teaches us that restraint and modesty contribute to the foundation of moral character, and moral character pleases Him. It keeps us from being arrogant, which is something that God strongly dislikes.
Proverbs 18:21(NKJV) tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Words are incredibly important. What we do, think, and say are the defining characteristics of our personhood. Heavenly Father warns us that talking too much is dangerous business, and He assures us in His Word that if we don’t use wisdom, we will have to eat the consequences that tag along with a lack of consciousness about what we say. And not only this, once we release our intentions verbally, the enemy gains information better left inside our heads, between us and God. Saying the wrong things at the wrong time allows the devil greater leverage to undermine our good efforts.
1John 2:6 (ESV) tells us, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” God has shared much instruction in His Word that is designed to keep us safe, fulfilled, and thriving; part of this instruction teaches us to be disciplined in our words and actions, because being disciplined is part of His nature, and as Christians we’re to be like Him.
My grandmother was endeavoring to teach her grandchildren to be people with good moral character, and rightly so. Her approach was one of instilling the notion of an economy of words, and now that I’m much older, I wish I had paid more attention to her wisdom. As a teenager, my pants were too tight and my mouth too loose for my grandmother’s taste. She loved me to pieces any way, but I learned to watch what I say the hard way; after many embarrassing situations, lost friendships, and troublesome circumstances. The best approach is to seek the wisdom of God’s Word and walk in it. This way our words will be seasoned with wisdom, and skin-tight will be the defining characteristic of our relationship with God. ■
English Standard Version (ESV), The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Pants too Tight, Mouth too Loose” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!