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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

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Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17
Matthew 18:15-20

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closed mouth

Jesus said, "If your brother should commit some wrong against you, go and point out his fault, but keep it between the two of you." —Matthew 18:15

Christians don't air their grievances publicly. They don't wash their dirty laundry for all to see. We're not trying to hide anything but respecting people's rights not to be talked about behind their backs and not to be confronted in public. We keep it between the two of us. Even spouses and families should not know of our complaint. Shooting off our mouths often does more harm than the original problem.

Christians have shredded one another with razor-blade tongues throughout Church history. We have played right into the hands of the devil. We are pawns in the devil's tactics, used to tear down God's Kingdom. But if we let the Spirit control our tongues, we can control our whole body (Jas 3:2).

This applies not only to our physical bodies but to Christ's body, the Church. Tongues of gossip, backbiting, negativity, and discouragement destroy the Church and make our worship pointless (Jas 1:26). Tongues of praise, prayer, prophecy, and encouragement build up Christ's body (1 Cor 14:3-4). The tongue is the most important member of the body, the Church.

Prayer:  Father, may I speak in foreign tongues, not in sinful tongues.

Promise:  "Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated." —Dt 34:7

Praise:  Struggling daily with a family member who has mental illness, Rita knows that today's hope will lead to God's end.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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