Mouth Confusion – July 19, 2017
This morning, as my wife and I were driving into town for the day, the radio personalities were talking about a new favorite flavor of potato chips from Lays. I arrived at me destination before they revealed the answer but it made me remember a conversation I have several months ago with a friend about flavored chips. Lays was doing a huge promotion asking people to try different flavors and let them know which ones they liked best. Our conversation stalled when we were talking about the “Gravy and Biscuits” flavor. My friend called them, “mouth confusion.”
First let me say that the chips have a remarkable resemblance in flavor to real down-home Southern gravy and biscuits. As a bit of a gravy and biscuit enthusiast, when that flavor combination enters my mouth I also expect certain textures to come along with it. As I write about this I can almost feel the gentle flakes dissolving in my mouth as the warm sausage gravy has served its created purpose – to soak into the biscuit and carry the rich farm fresh flavors deep into my pallet. But I digress!
Really, I just never could adjust to the combination of a potato chip texture and the flavor of gravy and biscuits in my mouth at the same time.
Recently in a study of the Book of James this very concept was discussed.
James 1:3 says, “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?” ESV
The whole conversation about whether Lays should mess with biscuits and gravy flavored chips is a matter of opinion, but in James’ writing what comes from our mouth is a matter of spiritual maturity. As we should be growing as believers into a better replica of the image of Christ every day, our behaviors will be modified.
Think of it like this; if you are out shopping and see an infant throwing a tantrum it is a bit annoying but also can be somewhat amusing. Take that same tantrum and apply it to a twenty-something – there is nothing amusing – only shameful behavior!
As you grow spiritually there will naturally be changes but some other behaviors ware changed as a matter of your will. To be blunt – sometimes you have to act grown up no matter how you feel.
James, in this one verse, addresses our battle with our carnal nature to gripe, whine and complain. But his teaching is that these no longer have a place in our lives as we mature in Christ. You must decide whether you are going to be a verbal blessing to others or you are going to make their day more difficult. It is a simple decision you must make about how your words will impact those who hear you speak.
Throughout your day you will have plenty of opportunities to gripe and complain – the slow, incompetent store clerk, the endless lines at the “fast” food joint, the antics of politicians, or your perceived shortcomings of a spouse. The reality is that there are many temptations spew venom from your lips in each of these situations and feel completely satisfied in doing so. But remember – about the only ones who like snakes are other snakes!
Let me end this by encouraging you to take a few minutes and look back over your day. Evaluate what has come from your mouth. Has it been sweet on the ears or has it been venomous babble? Ask Holy Spirit to help you guard what comes from your heart through your lips!
Do not be one of those biscuit and gravy potato chip / mouth confusion kind of Christians!
Serving Him by Serving You,
Joe Jackson, Jr.