Michel: Caution – Are your ‘contents under pressure?’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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My “grab the hairspray, spray hair, hurry out the door” habit was halted when I read the label on the innocent-looking silver can: “CAUTION: Contents under pressure.” I thought, yeah, well so am I.

I usually control the words and emotions inside of me. However, sometimes, especially when I am under pressure and someone presses my button, I give in to a critical, judgmental attitude that affects those in my line of fire. It shouldn’t be that way.

When I depend on God to be the filter between my mind and my mouth, and to weed out thoughts that should never be expressed, I do okay. But when I start moving too quickly to pray and begin to think that I can handle it all, that’s when the pressures of life get to me and I fail.

Maybe if people had labels, I’d be more careful. Imagine a room filled with people bearing their message. “I’m afraid I’ll be furloughed.” “We’re about to lose our home.” “I’m waiting on test results.” “I’m really trying, please don’t criticize me.”

I often discover that some of the people who seem the most carefree are bearing the heaviest burdens. Whether or not I’m aware of what others are facing, my words should encourage, not criticize; inspire, not defeat; heal, not hurt. Words are just like hairspray, once dispensed, impossible to return to the container.

David must have faced a similar battle, one that prompted him to write, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips,” Psalm 141:3.

Maybe I need to write that verse on an index card and tape it to my hairspray.


Ronny Michel can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com