If you grew up in church you probably remember the little song we used to sing in kid’s church, “Oh, be careful little mouth what you say. Oh, be careful little mouth what you say. There’s a father up above and he’s watching down in love. Oh, be careful little mouth what you say.”

Sometimes we forget to think before we speak to others, and that can do some real damage to not only them but us as well. You may be asking, “how does this hurt me?” It begins to put a skewed view in the eyes of others of who we are. Someone may catch you at the wrong time on the wrong day and we say the wrong thing to the wrong person, it’s over for both of us.

We find in the book of Proverbs a familiar passage to some “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” and how true this is. The old adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is the biggest lie anyone has ever told or even believed. We need to get back to the times of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Another passage from Proverbs is, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life,” nothing makes spending time with you and others sweeter than knowing you have left feeling encouraged and your day lifted.

So how do we get control of our mouths and teach our tongues what to say? At some point in our lives we must learn to apply filters that will keep us from looking foolish and saying hateful things. Something we always tell our girls at home is, “Think before you speak.” It is simple but it is a powerful thing to do. We apply so many filters to our pictures when posting to social media that when people see us for the first time they wonder, “Who are you?” If the habit is there to make our appearance better then why would we not want our words to have the same effect?

An uncontrolled tongue can do a world of damage. If we allow it to it can destroy someone with or without our knowledge. Therefore, we must be nice to others even if they don’t deserve it. You want people to be nice to you, do you deserve it all the time?

So where do we go from here? When speaking to someone we need to remember, “Is what I want to say true? Is what I want to say honest? Is what I want to say necessary? Is what I want to say kind?” The world around us will change when we begin to change ourselves. If we are not filled with love then it is hard for love to flow out of our mouths and even our actions. There is too much hate in this world for us to continue spewing out our venom and expect the world to be a better and different place.

It’s all about love, so let love be free and be careful little mouth what you say.

Jeffrey Bryant, First Assembly of God, Clinton