I once heard a story about a young boy who had an awful temper. To teach him to control it, his father gave him 100 nails and told him every time he lost his temper to go out and drive a nail into their white picket fence. The very first day, he drove 35 nails in the fence. The next day, he only had to put half as many nails in it. With each passing day, he used less nails as he learned to control his temper more. He found that it was easier to control his temper than it was to go outside and drive a nail. His dad then told him that each time he was able to control his temper to go outside and pull a nail out of the fence. The day finally came when all the nails had been pulled from the fence. The dad took the boy outside and said you have done a great job controlling your temper, but look at all these ugly holes in our pretty fence.
When we lose our temper, we can say some very hurtful things to people. It is like driving a nail into their heart. Oh sure, we can ask for their forgiveness, and may even get it from them. But those scars don't ever go away. Just think back to something somebody may have said to you out of anger. I'm sure you forgave them, but you can't forget it can you? Let this be a lesson to us to hold our anger in check. Or at least if we do lose our temper, we need to be extra careful what we say to people. Our tongues can be a very power thing. Let's make sure we are using it only to praise others, and not cut them down.
James 3:9 says, "Sometimes it praises our Lord and father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God."
Father, please help us to control our tongues. We can do mighty things with it. Please help us to only use it for good. In Jesus name, Amen.