Have you ever stuck your tongue to cold metal in the winter?
When I was a kid, my teacher told us students how his son went sledding down the hill straight toward the barb-wire fence at the bottom. He hit the fence in such a way that he actually bit the wire (thankfully, between the barbs).
Since it was cold, however, his tongue stuck to the wire. Our teacher said that some people had their tongues stuck to cold metal and had yanked them off, leaving a bit of their tongues to the metal.
He wanted to teach us the easy way that he got his son’s tongue unstuck—he breathed on it and the warm air of his breath freed his son’s tongue.
Being the scientifically-minded boy I was, I decided to replicate this experiment at home. Would my tongue really stick to a piece of cold metal and, if it did, would breathing on it release me from it?
I found the perfect piece of metal in the barnyard—the latch for the chain of the barnyard gate. I went up to it and bravely stuck my tongue to it—sure enough, my tongue did indeed stick. It really does work!
Then I performed part two of the experiment and started exhaling on it. After a moment or two, I had success! My tongue easily came off from the latch.
I paused to consider my success when I noticed a side effect: my tongue stung. It wasn’t a great pain, but it was noticeable and quite disturbing, especially when eating. My tongue stung for hours or maybe days after that—I don’t remember. All I remember was regretting sticking my tongue to cold metal.
Our tongues can get us into trouble and easily hurt others, and the pain they cause doesn’t go away quickly. That’s why it’s important for us to learn what the Bible teaches about using our tongues.
The Bible has a lot to say about how we use our tongues. They can be used to tear down people, and they can be used to build up people. It’s important that we follow the Bible’s instruction and save ourselves and others a lot of pain.
One of the best verses in the Bible to learn about using our tongue has to be Ephesians 4:29. You will clearly see the division in the text: First, what not to say and, second, what we should say. Let’s call the first part…