There’s an old story about a frog that wanted to cross a lake but he did not have the means to go that distance. So he tried to figure out how to get across the water, and he came up with a brilliant idea. There were two birds nearby and he talked the two birds into each picking up a pretty solid twig and holding it in their mouths while he grabbed and held on with his mouth in between. The plan was for the birds to fly over and fly him across the lake as he held on with his mouth. The birds thought it was very brilliant for the frog to come up with a plan for overcoming an impossible situation. The frog latched his mouth on to the twig as the birds lifted off.
As they ascended, there was a man in the vicinity who saw this unusual site of two birds carrying a frog through the air. He asked out loud, “Whoa! Who came up with that brilliant idea?” The frog said, “I…”
Opening your mouth at the wrong time in the wrong way can do great harm. In a modern society affected by quarantine fatigue as well as social and political unrest, it sometimes feels as if kind words are impossible to come by. In a culture like this Christians should stand out among the crowd.
I find 4th century author Publilius Syrus’ words ring as true as ever this year: “I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.” Also, isn’t it funny how kids seem to know more than we do sometimes? Young children know that “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” If only adults had that same attitude! Sometimes in a culture that teaches us to speak our mind the most Christian thing that we can do is keep quiet.
“But no one among mankind can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way.” (James 3:8-10 NASB 2020)