The long-awaited testing day arrived. I had spent the year teaching, coaching, and conferencing with my young writers for this moment. With sweaty palms, I passed out the test booklets. My reputation as an English Language Arts teacher rested in their hands. So did their future as writers. I set the timer and then announced, “You may begin.”
I felt competent in most of their abilities except for one little fellow who spent too much time on pre-writing strategies. I had drilled into their heads that this was a timed test and that every moment was valuable.
To my amazement, the young man immediately began to write. As time ticked away, he wrote with a look of delight across his face. With only a moment to spare, he closed his test booklet and let out a sigh of relief, as did I.
As I took up the test booklets, the classroom buzzed with discussion over which writing prompt the students chose. The little fellow’s countenance dropped. He said, “Writing prompt? I thought you said we could choose what we wanted to write on?” To my dismay, he had written on a topic that had nothing to do with either writing prompt. He desired to succeed, but hadn’t carefully followed the directions.
Don’t we sometimes do the same thing? We want a blessed life filled with happiness and good days, yet we fail to follow the directions God leaves us in His word to achieve that goal, such as the one in today’s passage about watching our tongues.
Dear Father, often I’ve heard it said, “When all else fails, read the directions.” Let me be wise enough to search the Scriptures before I fail and reap the consequences of not following your directions, especially about what comes out of my mouth. Amen.
Go Deeper — Use a concordance to search out verses that relate to one of the issues you’re facing today. Read the verses in context and then ask God to help you correctly apply his Word to your situation.
Photo Credit: Adi Constantin