I absolutely love the fall and winter seasons in Georgia. In late October, people rush to north Georgia to pick apples in Ellijay, "The Apple Capital of Georgia," while others continue even further north to look at the beautiful leaf colors nestled throughout the mountains. As quickly as the beautiful colors appear, winter sweeps in and turns the landscape to a barren state.
We have several rose bushes throughout our property that require periodic trimming by our landscaper. But this year, with Christmas rapidly approaching, I figured I could save a few bucks by trimming the Knock Out roses myself. Everything was on track to finish by supper until I began to clean up the branches and haul them away.
As I picked up the first pile, thorns pierced my gloves, leaving the tips in various locations of my right hand. Although the splinters were virtually impossible to see with the naked eye, they caused tremendous irritation and were difficult to remove without a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers. After hours of assistance from another family member, we successfully removed the annoying slivers from my hand.
This time of year can bring tremendous joy to families while serving as a source of debilitating sadness to many others. An unbridled tongue can seem benign at first, but like an unattended thorn, it can become a roaring fire capable of producing unbelievable pain — especially during the holidays.
Taming the tongue is similar to extracting a thorn; it takes precision and may cause additional pain during the process. We would do good to remember Proverbs 12:18, "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."