My Second Mouth

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10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

–James 3:10

I’m having surgery next week.

Yep, gonna have a second mouth installed.  Right in the back of my neck.

I figure it’ll cut way down on the time it takes for me to eat a meal.

And I’ll be able to give my wife a kiss and look at my iPhone at the same time, so that’s nice.

Oh, and harmonizing with myself?  It’ll be beautiful, I’m sure.

Of course, I predict some drawbacks with having two mouths.  Twice as much time brushing my teeth, for one thing.  And probably twice as many dental bills.

But that will be worth it for the main benefit having two mouths is going to give me:

My front mouth will be do the praising, and my back will be for cursing.

Isn’t that perfect? In that scripture up there, James is right when he says to do both out of the same mouth is just plain wrong.  It’s this mixing of the sacred and profane.

It’s a misuse of the mouth!

So now, with my second mouth, I can keep things separate.

My front mouth will be kind and gentle, faithful and humble.  I’ll have a kind word for everyone I see.

Meanwhile, my back mouth will be used for moments of road rage, commenting on idiots on the TV, and general gossip and hate speech.

It’s a great system.  As long as I can keep my back mouth shut when I’m at church. Or with my in-laws.

I wonder.  Which mouth will get more use?

And then I wonder this:  If I have a mouth designated for foulness, will I come to hate it?  Will I get tired of hearing the filth that comes out of it?

Imagine me, going through this whole surgery, only to get fed up and duct tape my second mouth shut.

Well, I guess that’s one way to cut down on my cursing.

Another way could be avoiding the surgery all-together, and trying to be more mindful of the words that pass through my lips.

God hears every word we utter, no matter how many mouths we have. So perhaps I can work to make the things I say a better reflection of the Grace God has given me.

In the end,

It’s better to practice graciousness and self-control,

than to go through life being two-faced about it.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Bump, Set, Spike, Embrace

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I’ve been really enjoying the Olympics.

There’s something truly gratifying about watching people excel at what they do.

Even sports that seem weird to me, like 2-person kayaking or Rugby 7 are fascinating to watch.  I didn’t know either sport existed!

I’ve watched a couple matches with the USA women’s indoor volleyball team now, and I think they have impressed me the most.

Each point contains so much activity I actually had to look up and confirm that it’s just 6 people on a side at any one time.  It seems like more!

Someone’s serving.  Someone’s digging the ball right before it hits the ground.  People are bumping, setting, spiking, faking, blocking.  All the while they’re calling out to each other, coordinating their efforts.

Here’s what I noticed, though.  After each point, win or lose, the women come to the center of their side of the court, throw their arms around each other, and say encouraging words.

It’s just part of the rhythm of the game, and it isn’t only the US team that does this.

Bump, Set, Spike, Embrace.  Bump, Set, Spike, Embrace.

During the point, everybody has their own job to do, working in tandem, coordinated towards a common purpose.

And in between each point they take a moment to come together, express their unity, and share mutual encouragement.

This is a great model for the church!

A group of disciples come together for a common purpose, but dozens of different tasks.

Everybody does their part.  Sometimes there are successes, sometimes there are failures.

But always, and regardless, the church comes together in regular intervals to embrace one another, to pray, to praise, and to encourage.

It takes a lot of practice, and a lot of discipline, and a lot of faith to be a church like that.

But let me tell ya, what we’re in it for…

is worth more than all the gold in the world.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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