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You Can’t Rewind

By Chaplain George Nix

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.  – Psalm 141:3


Grab a tube of toothpaste. Open it. Squeeze it all out. (OK, don’t do it for real. Just imagine yourself doing it.) Now put the toothpaste back in. “Wait… what?” I hear you saying, “That’s impossible!”

True, outside of inventing a gizmo to be able to achieve such a feat, it is impossible to put the toothpaste back in the tube. In the same way, when we speak an unkind word to someone, we can not stuff it back in our mouths. Have you ever wished our mouths had a rewind button? All we have is play, pause and fast forward (well, actually only auctioneers and the radio announcer you hear at the end of the commercial have fast forward!). The psalmist is asking God to set a guard over his mouth, so he wouldn’t say anything evil. May that be our prayer for us today. Instead of speaking evil, let’s say things to build each other up. To encourage one another. As Paul would remind us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).”

George Nix

Chaplain George Nix was born in Chicago, Illinois. He has been a Chaplain with PruittHealth Hospice in Rome, Georgia since 2010.

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