Lessons in life always come with a price. Cheap, exspensive, or priceless are words I use to describe those events that taught me through pain, normally, how to, or not to conduct my existence. Of course, the cheap lesson would reflect a lesson without pain. An exspensive lesson is reflective of learning through monetary consequence like, I should have slowed down through that speed zone, I hope the fine is not more than $500!” The priceless lesson, however, is always a doozey. That’s the “big one” that can cost you everything short of death. Who would think that a simple statement could possibly turn your world upside down?

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

I have observed and experienced how a statement can do just that. When I was younger, I was very involved in a particular church group, teaching, working with youth, asst. music “dude,” janitor, deacon….and arrogant. I had the “works” down pat. I didn’t think I could fall from grace because God “needed” me. Observing worldly behavior of the unbelievers, I made this foolish statement, How do they live like that? I’ll NEVER BE like them! I could NEVER LIVE that way! That’s the short of what happened. It began with words, and ended in actions that were “priceless.” Eighteen years of debaucherous living ensued.

“You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.” Prov.6:2 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1Cor.10:12 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov.18:21

My observation of others in recovery with a “never” problem, have made this statement, I said I would NEVER be like my parents, all they knew how to do was scream and yell, drink and party, and my life was not going to be like that! Yet, there they set in a recover meeting, just like their parents, broken, desperate, lives completely unmanageable. As I work with others in recovery, one of the first things I try to instill in their thinking is to consider changing the way they talk.

I really don’t care how people talk in society. Seeing the perceived “intelligent” speak with foul, offensive words is bad enough. But when their words are mimicked by society at large, because of their status, or they’re so “cool,” those words become an infection that does irreparable damage to their admirers. However, I do not want to make the mistake of saying, I’ll NEVER talk that way. No siree, that’s too “priceless” of a statement for me. In fact, I try not to judge that person either. To even think I’m above that way of speaking causes me to stop and alter my thoughts immediately.

I have to say that the statement I made all of those years ago, along with my pride, took me down a long road of “hard living” for myself, and caused loved ones much pain. But today I am able to see how God uses every event in our lives to His glory, even our sin. This must be clear, He did not tempt me, nor open the bottle for me. He did not cause my sin. I chose that path. He cared enough to allow me to walk that path and now, as I relate this priceless lesson, the one, or the many heading down that treacherous road, may change direction. I pray that would be the case.

“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Prov.17:27

Think about words you speak. There is an ripple effect to every action, and every word spoken to others…and to ourselves. Self talk, self-affirmations are good, or at least okay. But I have learned how to use them in light of God’s Word, or in this manner using the word never; with God’s help I will NEVER.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith