Thursday, September 30, 2010
Mums the Word
Can you imagine fall without mums? I mean, seriously, it isn't fall until I "plant" mums in my pots, which I did this past weekend by the way. All I need now are some pumpkins on my front porch and my fall season is complete. Gotta put "buy pumpkins" on my shopping list. I just love looking out my front windows and seeing the mums and pumpkins on my front porch.
We all know that "mum" is, of course, short for chrysanthemum, the real name of those beautiful fall flowers I have on my front and back porches. But have you ever wondered where the phrase "mums the word" came from? Well, here at Down On The Farm I strive to be educational (not really) and I can tell you that William Shakespeare used the phrase "Seal up your lips and give no words but mum." in Henry VI, Part 2, 1592.
There are times as Christians, that we need to keep "mum." Did your mother ever tell you "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" Well, that's keeping mum, and my mom told me that about a million times growing up. And while the phrase "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" isn't literally in the Bible, there are plenty of scriptures that ought to convince us that God takes very seriously the words that come out of our mouths.
James 3:9-10 "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."
Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles."
Matthew 12:36-37 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer."
Are we following these scriptures? Really step back and think about what comes out of your mouth. Is it acceptable to God? Does it bless others? Does it encourage others? Or do we talk about others and tear them down?
John 13:35 says this: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If we are talking badly about someone, we don't love them. Let me say that again, if we are talking badly about someone, we don't love them. If we don't love, then how can we be His disciples?
I have truly been convicted of this in my spirit lately. I believe that in God's eyes sin is sin, and gossip is sin. Most Christians like to think of sin as "big" and "little" because it makes us feel better, but I think God sees all sin as something that separates us from Him, and I want to be as close to Him as I can get. So today, think before you speak. Be a blessing to someone with a smile, or an encouraging word. Tell your spouse and children how much you love them. Of all people we should be nice to, we really should be nice to our family. Find one nice thing to say to a co-worker, or a neighbor. And if you truly can't say something nice, then, as my mother taught me, don't say anything at all.