Muzzled

Carl was awake most of the night. He had started throwing up two days ago and last night it became chronic. Several times my little dog placed his paws on the bed frame hoping that I would pull him up on to the bed. When he realized that he wasn’t going to sleep with us, he made his way to the couch until he became sick again.

Once the morning came, I called and made an appointment for him to see the vet. Even though he wasn’t feeling well, he still demonstrated to all of us that he didn’t like getting his temperature taken or having someone move their hands all over his body. So the muzzle had to go on to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

A muzzle is an interesting apparatus. The one that Carl wears allows him to see but he can’t open his mouth very wide. It has a purpose and if used correctly can ensure that our little dog can receive the care he needs.

As humans, we don’t need a muzzle to keep us from biting others but sometimes we should wear one when we can’t control what we say. I know several times a week, I will think about something I said and wished that I had used a muzzle to keep the words from coming out.

As I looked over the scriptures that pertained to speaking out of turn, I became more and more convicted about my own misuse of words. Psalm 141:3 states, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

But the verse that always makes me sit up and pay attention comes from James 3:5. It states, “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.  See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!” We may not realize how the words we say can have such a powerful impact on others.

Carl’s muzzle won’t fit over my mouth but it sure can serve as a visual reminder that I can use when I am tempted to say the words that I should keep to myself. It has been a day since we took Carl to the vet. The vet was puzzled by his symptoms and we still don’t think he is totally back to normal.  Only time will tell.

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