Use the Tongue

John Wesley was preaching and wearing a new bow tie with two streamers hanging down from it. There was a sister in the meeting who didn’t hear a word about Jesus, but sat with a long face and saw nothing but those two streamers.

When the service was over the critic went up to Wesley and said, “Pardon me, Mr. Wesley, will you allow me to give you a little criticism?”

“Yes,” replied the preacher.

“Well,” she said, “your bow tie is too long and it is an offense to me.”

“Have you any shears?” asked Wesley.

Upon receiving a pair of shears from one in the gathering, Wesley handed them to the offended lady, saying that she would know best how to fix the tie.

Eagerly, she clipped off the streamers.

“Is that all right now?” asked Wesley.

“Yes,” she said, “that is much better.”

Then Wesley asked for the shears. “Would you mind me giving you a little criticism?” he asked. “Your tongue is a great offense to me — it is a little too long. Please stick it out while I take some off.”

Many who self-righteously criticize outward things, are guilty of transgressing with their tongues. And according to the Bible, tongues are far more likely to offend the Lord than ties (see James 1:26).

Start the day with the psalmist’s praiseworthy purpose: “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”