The pollen count in London is the highest it’s been in 50 years and that’s not good news. I’m really suffering these days with itchy eyes, a sore throat and breathing problems. This morning I woke at 4:58am needing an inhaler which reminded me of an incident a few years back.
Josephine and I went to dinner with a couple who live a few doors down from us. As we talked and ate, my hay fever started kicking in – in a way that I haven’t experienced in years. My chest became so tight that I had trouble breathing and started coughing in a very distressed way.
As this was happening, I realized that the best thing for me to do was to not talk. If I tried to talk then the process of pushing air up out of my mouth made me choke and then cough, so I sat there quietly as possible listening to the conversation.
Do you know how hard that was for me!
I was as quiet as possible for the last 30 minutes we sat at the table. You know what the good news was? I didn’t gossip, slander or sin with my mouth in any way during those 30 minutes. My severe hay fever attack shut down my breathing and shut down my mouth. It also shut down the damage I do with my tongue.
Proverbs 10:19 was confirmed in my mind:
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
The reality is that our words are important. We are either affirming or destroying others. We can build people up or tear them down. Honestly, all of us, including myself, do a bit of both. We encourage others over the dinner table but we also speak words which cut like daggers.
My prayer is that I could grow in grace to hold my tongue at the times when I can breath, not just when I’m suffering a hay fever attack.
May the Lord give us strong lungs, good words and the wisdom to hold our tongues.