I happened to think the other day, what if someone followed me around with a tape recorder all day, on any given day, and then made me listen to it in the evening? It popped into my mind after I had said something I should not have said to someone, and they wisely stood there and said nothing back. You know what happens when someone does that? All of a sudden you actually hear yourself. And boy, are you embarrassed.
So just imagine for a moment that you answer a knock on the door late one evening, just after you brush your teeth and put on your pajamas, and there on the welcome mat lies a tape of everything you have said all day long. Exactly how welcome would it be? What would you find yourself listening to? Griping? Gossip? Slander? Nagging? Petty arguments? Insults? Snide comments? Bitter resentment? Boasting? Cruel comments? Foul language? Deceit? Insincere flattery? Excuses for all the above? Just who are we trying to fool? …for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, Luke 6:45.
How loud would it be? How cold would it sound? What would come after each thing I said? Someone laughing, or someone crying?
I have a feeling that no one is really aware of exactly how he sounds. We do not realize that the things we say are as often and as whiny as they are, that most of our complaints are petty and selfish, that the majority of our comments about others are negative instead of positive, that the impression we give others about our marriages, our families, our church brothers and sisters would make those around us want to avoid those relationships altogether.
Maybe this idea is not so horrible after all. Maybe we all need to pretend today that the tape recorder is running, and do our best to make it “good listening.” Someone is listening after all. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Jehovah, you know it altogether, Psalm 139:4.