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Tongue Twister

by Aneel Aranha

"No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately."
- Montaigne

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

An English nobleman once visited Josiah Wedgwood to see how he made his legendary china and pottery. A young apprentice was instructed to give the nobleman a tour of the factory. The nobleman did not believe in God and was sacrilegious, foul-mouthed, and consistently ridiculed the Bible during the tour.

At first the young apprentice was shocked but after a while he began to laugh when the man made his cynical remarks. Josiah Wedgwood was greatly disturbed by this, especially when he saw how his young apprentice was being influenced by this wealthy nobleman.

Later the atheist asked if he could purchase a particularly expensive vase. As he handed it to the nobleman, Wedgwood deliberately let it crash to the floor.

With a vile oath the nobleman angrily said, "That is the one I really wanted and now it is shattered by your carelessness."

Josiah Wedgwood replied, "Sir, there are things more precious than any vase-things that can never be restored once they are ruined. I can make another vase, but you can never give back to my helper the pure heart you have defiled by your vile language and sacrilegious talk!"

The tongue, if used well, can be an instrument of great healing if it speaks in kindness and in love. But if used to gossip, slander, abuse or corrupt, it can be an instrument of horrible destruction. Use your tongues wisely.


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