Toothless Wonder

A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes (blows). A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

Proverbs 18:6-7

I have a peer at work who is fairly new to our company. He has a lot of experience, and we have become fast friends. He recently came over to me and wanted me to help him locate some calls to submit for investigation. I asked more about the calls, and he went into detail about an unruly customer who was not very nice. She had made several calls to him totaling 22 calls in one month, which is a bit excessive. She had used language that expressed more color than the rainbow. We were looking for calls and we could only find one that was recorded. I listened to it and she sounded like someone whose acquaintance I would not want to make. The “F” word seemed to be the extent of her vocabulary, and as I read the correspondence she had sent in, it was much more of the same.

I asked my friend if he had mentioned to her that it was easier to attract bees using honey rather than vinegar, and he gave me a courteous smirk. We will from time to time get difficult people who use excessive profanity and exhibit unprofessional behavior. It comes with the territory, and I do my best to deescalate, although I have at times escalated the situation. I asked my friend rhetorically how this lady had any teeth left in her head after talking like that, and he again gave me a courtesy shrug. I wish I could say that I could not relate to this woman in any way, but over the years, some likely questioned how I had teeth left in my head. My parents spent a lot of money on my teeth, so I am grateful that I am only absent my wisdom teeth.

I have worked on watching what comes out of my mouth, but there have been many times throughout my years in which I am grateful someone did not knock out my teeth like a bowler knocking down pins. I had a quick mind and a sharp tongue, and although my mind still works the same pace, I clench my jaw muscles and allow the thought to pass without my lips moving and uttering my mind. Proverbs 29:11 states, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” I am learning to keep my mouth shut, even though my mouth has trouble keeping up with my mind. My mouth has gotten me into a lot of trouble, and I have said things that have hurt people, started fights, and ended friendships. I have caught a few well-deserved blows to my mouth and jaw, only to quickly feel the bone structure to ensure all my bones and teeth were in place. The soreness of my wounds allowed me to pause my antics for a few days, but the mouth reengaged when the soreness wore off.

Where are you today? Do you say things that get you into trouble? Has anyone wanted to punch your lights out because of your words? Who have you hurt with the words that have come out of your mouth? Have you ruined your testimony by allowing your mouth to be referred to as a fool’s? We often will blame the heat of the moment or others for making us angry, but the Bible says in Matthew 15:18, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” May we ask God to guard our mouth and may we not offend others and be a fool. Our words always matter.

Stay in the Fight!

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