Sometimes we think “if only I had enough self-control I wouldn’t say anything dumb or hurtful.” It is a really good thing to not want to be hurtful and it’s not a bad idea to try not to say dumb things but there’s only one problem; this seems to be beyond us.
I don’t want to denigrate anyone’s powers of self-control. I am sure there is at least one person somewhere, sometime who has said to themself, “I will not say hurtful or dumb things ever again” and made it stick. I suspect the person might have taken a vow of silence or become a hermit but I could be wrong. What I do know is many people who have said in one conversation, context, or another how much they regret something they have said. Sometimes they add how hard they are working to not do this. It seems a common problem. Is there a solution? I think there is.
The sermons today are based on James 3:1-12 which is where James talks about the tongue, as a metaphor for all communication, and how dangerous and powerful it is. My conclusion is the only cure for our communication difficulties is transformation, not self-control.
Let me know if you think I got it right or not.
St. Mark’s Presbyterian