Bite Your Tongue

Men and women are born with two eyes, but only one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say. (Charles Caleb Colton)





Food is life. From the day you were born breakfast, lunch and dinner became a vital part of your daily routine. In the process of time you began to link food with your emotions. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries became occasions for celebration, and—food. A movie is not a movie without popcorn. A ballgame is not a ballgame without hotdogs, peanuts, chips, pizza, you name it. Janice Polinsky writes, “Food provides us with more than the sum of its nutrients … food is condensed and transformed energy. Through the process of digestion we absorb the forces of nature … that interact with you on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level—this absorption process in turn determines your health and the quality of your life.” Everything received into your body is either received as nourishment or poison. Many health professionals believe there are emotional and physical connections between food and behavior.

This proved to be true for my nephew Jathan. As a child he would fall down and bang his head against the floor when he became stressed or upset. My sister, a good mother, was very much concerned for his health and well being, so she took him to a pediatrician. The doctor conducted a series of tests, asked my sister a ton of questions and after much research into Jathan’s habits and behavior, he concluded that his diet was the culprit causing this alarming behavior. All foods containing red coloring were taken away from him and his behavior changed.

Words, like foods, when absorbed into our inner being affect our health in a positive or negative way. The adage, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me, simply is not true for most. Language is powerful and stimulates a wide range of emotions that can cause us to feel good or bad about ourselves. The right word spoken at the right time fills us with joy, but the wrong word spoken anytime saddens us. Some have been motivated and achieved great things as a result of words; others have taken their lives.

The Apostle Paul declared, “Let your speech at all times be gracious, pleasant, attractive, and encouraging. Let it be seasoned as it were with salt. The goal is to bring out the best in others through your conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” Words kill, words give life; they are either poison or fruit—you choose (King Solomon). There is an old Japanese proverb which says that one kind word can warm three winter months.

It is true that we do not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes we have to eat them (Broderick Crawford ). My doctor recommended that I eat roughage for my health, but it was not necessary for him to remind me—because I’ve been in the habit of eating my words for years and you can’t get any more roughage than that.

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