Power in Our Tongue

I imagine that, like me, you sometimes think; “I never thought I’d be doing this?” It’s still weird for me that we’re all walking around in public with masks on. My current mask collection is comprised of skull and crossbones, Thor, Daleks, Muppets, and rainbow unicorns (I’m not joking). At deeper levels, all that is going on is heightening anxiety, causing separation, and increasing partisanship as everyone shares their opinion. I’m a bit over opinions at this point. There simply seems to be too much negative talk around us.

One of the most profound verses from the Book of Proverbs is:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. – Prov 18:21

Your tongue can speak death or life. We can discourage, encourage, build, break down, reconcile, or alienate. If we love speaking life it will have a sustaining and satisfying result like a full belly.

I read the quote below to our staff at a meeting on Friday (a Zoom meeting, another weirdness). It’s from CS Lewis, the famous writer of the Narnia Chronicles. I have inserted my thoughts in brackets.

“I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise (think sports, cars, motorbikes, loved ones) … I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least.  Except where intolerably adverse circumstances interfere, praise almost seems to be inner health made audible. . . I had not noticed either that just as people spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: ‘Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?’

In these times, I believe the Christian characteristic of MCC should be that we are an outpost of praise. We speak it up. We use our words to bring life.

Here is what I have to say: “This is a great school and I love the dedication of our staff. I enjoy being amongst our students and they are a great encouragement to me personally (most of the time). Thank you to our parents, guardians, and extended families. In the sometimes-tough road of education and developing our students, you have characteristically been considerate, thoughtful, cooperative, and kind. I appreciate you all.

– Rod McNeill