Biting my tongue

A bulk of paper-clips in several colors

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“but no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”. James 3:8

Sarah Mae wrote a post several months ago that featured a story from the movie, Doubt.  I can think of no better way to address the topic of gossip and slander than to send you to read that post.

Over a year ago, a friend of mine gave several of us in a ladies Bible study a challenge about the fresh water/salt water spoken of in James 3.  We talked about our words to our spouses and our children and whether or not we were speaking fresh water words or salt water words into their lives.  To help us keep this in mind, she gave us all a handful of paper clips and a handful of gems {like you would see on costume jewelry}.

The challenge was for us to begin our day with the jewels and paper clips in one pocket and as the day went by to slip a jewel {for fresh water words} or a paper clip {for salt water words} into the opposite pocket.  This served as a tangible reminder each day to be mindful of the tone of voice I used and the words I chose to speak.

It was a very convicting exercise.  I remember the first week after we started the challenge, we all came to Bible study joking confessing that we could make a necklace out of our paper clips from the week, not the jewels.

When I read this chapter of James, the memory of that exercise came to me.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”.  Matthew 12: 34b

I went and got out my bag of paper clips and jewels.  I need a refresher course.

This post is linked to the James read-along, hosted by Marla Taviano.
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  1. I love the paperclip and jewel idea, thank you for sharing it.  And thank you for also sharing Sarah Mae’s post.  That is a great picture of what gossip is.

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