Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
One of my sons decided to use profanity when he was around nine years old. He didn’t think I heard him either until I walked into his room.
I immediately took him by the hand and led him to the kitchen where I would teach him a lesson about using foul language.
I grabbed the hot sauce and put a couple of drops on his tongue. To my utter disbelief, the punishment did not even faze him because he liked the taste!
I had totally forgotten that he had tried hot sauce on his food before and liked it.
Not to be outwitted by a nine year old, I took him to the bathroom and disciplined him the old fashioned way – by using soap to “wash his mouth out.”
The soap worked! The disgust and discomfort it caused my little boy was enough to convince him it wasn’t worth uttering unwholesome words in my presence.
I’m not sure if parents practice this method today, but it sure got me to thinking about the words I speak. Even though I don’t use profanity, my words have certainly hurt others.
What if God “washed” our mouths out? Would we be more careful with our words? He can do more than wash our words, He can cleanse us from all our sin:
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:2
Soap tastes awful – (I know by experience!) and I don’t like anything spicy so I’d rather the Lord “wash” my mouth out so my words can be wholesome:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
No hot sauce or soap for me!