If you live in Texas, you probably have heard that “Big Tex” the icon of the State Fair of Texas that welcomes guests as they walk under his towering presence, burned down today. One story I saw said that he had a motor in his mouth that caught fire. Ouch! My dad used to jokingly refer to me as “Motor Mouth” when I was a kid, and quite frankly I resemble that remark. I never thought I had anything in common with “Big Tex,” but perhaps I do.
As soon as I read that I thought about how we as mothers can also allow our “motor mouths” to set things on fire. How many times have our harsh words ruined the day of our children? How many times has a word spoken frivolously been taken to heart and burned someone? How many relationships have trust broken because of a confidence shared? How many times has a comment made out of judgment or jealously set off a spark that went out of control?
The Bible tells us a lot about how easily our motor mouths can set things on fire. James 3:6 (NIV) says: “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell,” and Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) tells us, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
One thing I have been convicted of and have tried to remember is that just because something is true, doesn’t mean it needs to be said. I must choose my words carefully and keep my motor mouth in check.
I am quite sure that Big Tex will be rebuilt and will probably be even better than the first one. Let that encourage us all, because nothing is beyond repair! Forgiveness and repentance can build relationships back up bigger and stronger than they once were. So let’s spend some time thinking about whom we might have burned with our words and seek to repair the damage and rebuild our legacies.