by Jim Henry

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Jim Henry, Pastor
First Baptist Church of Orlando
3701 L. B. McLeod Road
Orlando, Florida 32805-6691

Proverbs 18:20-21
Print 265, CT 811271

20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is
filled; with the harvest from the lips he is
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and
those who love it will eat its fruit.
Xanthus, the philosopher, sent his faithful servant Aesop
and told him to bring the best food he could bring for a
sumptuous banquet. Aesop went to the market and he came back
and he brought tongues from all kinds of different animals.
He served them a full-course dinner, one course after the
other. He would serve one tongue with a certain kind of sauce
and then the next course came along and it was another kind of
tongue and it had a sauce on it. Finally, Xanthus was just
furious and he called Aesop in and he said to him, "Servant, I
sent you to the market to get the best thing you could find -
the best food possible - and you brought us these tongues. Now
tell me what is this madness?" Aesop, the wise servant, said,
"Tongues are the best of all foods. For out of the tongue
comes the bond of civilization. Out of the tongue comes the
organ of truth and reason. The tongue is the instrument of
praise and adoration. What better food could there be than a
tongue?" Xanthus said, "Then tomorrow you go to the
marketplace and bring me the worst food you can find." The
next day Aesop served the meal and he had tongues for every
course, served with different sauces but tongues again.
Xanthus called him aside and said, "I thought I told you to
bring the worst food, you've got tongues again. Yesterday it
was the best food and today it is the worst food! Tell me, why
are we having tongues as the worst food?" Aesop the faithful
servant said, "Tongues are the instrument of all strife and
tension. Tongues! The inventor of lawsuits and slander.
Tongues! The organ of error, lies, ...

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