I think it’s a fair statement to say that emotions are running high everywhere lately. Social media … work … even inside the safety of one’s home. However, simply because one’s emotions have accelerated, that doesn’t mean we have to let them run unchecked and uncensored.
The truth is, at the end of the day, when we’ve taken time to sort out our feelings, or we see evidence that paints a different picture from our original assumptions, or simply when we’ve taken time to take our feelings to God (which is ultimately what we should be doing in the first place), we have to live with the consequences of our actions. And so will those around us.
Today I invite you to perform “the toothpaste experiment.***” Grab a tube of toothpaste and a paper plate. Open the tube and squeeze all the toothpaste out on the paper plate. Once it’s all sufficiently out, try to put it back in. Every last drop. How’d that work for you?
The toothpaste that is on the plate represents our words. Once they are spoken, we can never get them back. We can ask for forgiveness, and if we are given grace, we will be forgiven, but that doesn’t take away from the fact the words are still out there. They still linger in the air. We can pretend they aren’t, but yet, they are still remembered, and possibly relived, to some degree.
Words are powerful … both positive and negative. I’d like to encourage all of us to take our words, especially when emotions are running high, but ultimately always, and give them to our Father first. He is the only One who can help us sort them out correctly before releasing them into the world. It would do us all some good to remember that once they are released, we can never get them back.
*** (This wasn’t originally my idea – I read it on a blog myself.)
© Cheri Swalwell 2021
One Reply to “Words and Toothpaste”
This was always one of my favorite children’s sermons….there’s always one who brags that HE can put it back in the tube