Eating Words

I’ve caught myself admitting to it over and over lately. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: I’ve always said ____, but I’m eating my words on this one.

I ate my words when we decided to let the ultrasound tech peek to see whether we were going to have a boy or a girl. I ate my words when I downloaded and enjoyed reading my first eBook with no pages to feel between my fingers. I ate my words when I tossed an enormous pile of miscellany in the trash instead of saving it for a rainy day. I even ate my words when I sat down to write these few words with my keyboard and not a pencil and journal.

Eating my words gave me a slightly bruised ego - I think I must have swallowed a little pride along with them.

"The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things," James says, and my tongue, flapping around its superlatives and heralding that I’d always do this and never that had bit off more than it could chew. Listen to what a mighty blaze of fire can be kindled by the smallest flame:

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:7-12

The tongue is not just a minor annoyance that must be managed, it’s a small but mighty potential for great good or great evil. By its words I will be justified and by its words I will be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37). It’s like a little window into my soul - what I speak comes from the abundance of my heart (Luke 6:45).

There is infallible grace in Jesus for my fallible humanity and the boastful, careless words I wind up eating. May I never take myself so seriously that my words become stone-chisled decrees that I may never stoop to break, and may I never take myself so lightly that I forget that even before a word is on my tongue, you know it, Lord. (Psalm 139:4)