October 3, 2019

Yesterday, as I walked through the church office, I saw Larry. I said, “Larry, I am glad you are here to write my sermon. It needs to be four typewritten pages, single spaced, theologically sound, entertaining, and with smooth transitions so that I can memorize it.”

Then Lucia called out, “Don’t forget the joke. That’s the most important part.”

That’s right. According to what Lucia said, the most important part of the sermon is not Jesus, God’s will for our lives, or ways to bring others into the light of love. The most important part of the sermon is joke. When I said, “You are going to be tomorrow’s Daily Devotional,” her response was, “Not again!”

While it’s hard to criticize Lucia because she is a much better Christian than I will ever be, the point is she spoke before she thought. I’m glad she put her mouth in drive while her brain was still in neutral because that gave me something to write about. But I also know she wishes she hadn’t said a word.

All of us have been in Lucia’s shoes. While we may not say something that our pastor will use as a Daily Devotional, each of us, at one time or another, is guilty of putting a foot in the mouth, all the way up to the knee.

This is where Solomon’s wise advice is especially important: “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:27-28)

So, to make sure your pastor doesn’t make fun of you, always shift your brain into gear before your mouth. That way you will never show up in a Daily Devotional.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, set a guard over my mouth. Use my inadequate, inane words to bring healing and peace to lives filled with pain and fear. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The world would be a much happier place if we all thought before we spoke.

Also, the good news in writing about Lucia is that because she’s a Christian, she has to forgive me. It’s in the Bible.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins