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Points to Ponder/Foul Mouth Often Reveals Foul Character

by Pastor Dennis Whitmore

In Hanley, England the Wedgewood Pottery Works became world famous for its beautiful Wedgewood China. Josiah Wedgewood built a business that produced priceless pieces which were hand made by talented craftsmen.

The story is told of a teenage worker whom Wedgewood assigned to escort a visiting dignitary through the facility. This dignitary was a man of status from a prominent family. As the youth showed the man around, the visitor made comments and told jokes which were full of profanity and offensive remarks.

At first the young man was shocked by this behavior, but as time passed, he got used to it. And soon, he was enjoying the company of the man and laughed right along with him.

Josiah Wedgewood overheard the profanity. When the two returned to his office, he picked up a beautiful vase and offered it to the dignitary. As he reached to receive it, Wedgewood dropped it and let it crash on the floor. The visitor reacted angrily at the expensive waste of a good piece of craftsmanship.

Wedgewood looked the man in the eye and said:

“My lord, that was a most precious vase, and it represented hours of work by my most able craftsmen. I can have this restored - or make another just as good, but you can never give back to this boy the simple faith and pure heart which you have taken away from him by your foul and blasphemous language, which you poured forth upon his soul.”

Jesus has said that, “out of the abundance of heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34 b) A foul mouth is a sure sign of a foul spirit and lowly character. Does that sound like a rather strong thing to say? Aren’t there good people, generous neighbors, and great co-workers we know who happen to use foul language and bathroom humor? Sure, but character is a deep thing which shows itself in a person’s lifestyle, choices, and words. If a good or nice person has such a strong character, why does he/she choose to use such a low standard of vocabulary? You can wax a trashcan and make it shiny and nice and it can be solid metal, but if it has garbage in it, it stinks. And a mouth full of trashy words (which are wholly unnecessary to make an intelligent point) not only contaminates the container, but also offends others who come near.

We ought to especially be mindful of how our words affect the character of the young ones who look to us as their example. It’s easy to lower oneself to the world’s standard; but it’s admirable and befitting a person of character to rise above the easy way and be one of those rare ones who chooses the high road simply because it’s the right one; both for your soul and for the souls of those who are watching you.

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverb 21:23)

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dennis

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