I suffer from Foot in Mouth Syndrome. I’ve not acquired the finesse of “Keeping thy mouth shut’; “Thinking before speaking”; “Counting to 20 having brain engaged before speaking”. I can get my foot wedged so tightly in my mouth that surgery is required for removal, metaphorically speaking. This past week I had a case of Foot in Mouth Syndrome. It really bothered me that I potentially hurt another person. It started out innocently enough. We were engaging in some banter as always, this time a third party entered into the banter. Before I became aware we had entered the realm of sarcasm. Sarcasm always hurts someone. It might have been okay had the conversation been between only the two of us. (Nice rationalization don’t ya think?) Nevertheless my words had hurt another.
Busy berating myself, taking on all the emotions which accompany Foot in Mouth Syndrome, heading for a sleepless night, I knew I needed to have a dialogue with my Lord. In humility, through tears, I asked for forgiveness. Then I proceeded to whine about my short comings, “God will I ever get this? Why do I always go one step too far? When will I learn to keep thy mouth shut? Why can I not be more like so-and-so? You all know so-and-so… the personality many gravitate to when in a social gathering; the person whose personality is quiet, unassuming, sweet, caring, and who never says a harsh word, or has an unkind thought; a person whom everyone always has a positive comment when speaking of him or her. No one ever says, “I am quiet and unassuming”.
Ah, but lest I leave you here… The Lord in his goodness reminded me of the Apostle Peter. Peter was strong in personality, often impulsive in word, bold and confident in his beliefs, loyal, and ready to die for what he believed. Peter made mistakes and he was no stranger to “Foot-in-Mouth”. Yet, Peter’s impetuosity and boldness allowed him to experience something no other human has experienced before or since; Peter literally walked on water among wind and rough waters! Peter ready and willing took on the soldiers at the arrest of Jesus, while the other Apostles simply stood around not sure of what to do. Peter took action, albeit the wrong action, but still he did something to fight for the injustice taking place and the love of his friend. We see a man of strong faith whose life is surrendered to God to be used for whatever purpose the Lord deems necessary. It is Peter to whom Jesus entrusted His church and people- – – – “I also say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it”, and the words “Feed my lambs; take care of my sheep”. Peter was the first apostle to whom Jesus appeared following his crucifixion and rising from the dead! Peter had special insight; early on in their relationship, Peter was the first person to recognize Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God.
Until next time,
Matthew 16:15-16 and 18
John 18:10-11, 17 and 25-27