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Lesson Learned from a Mannequin.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

A particular mannequin recently caught my eye. I can’t say it was her hair that snagged my attention. Because she didn’t have any. I suppose those oh-so-fun, plastic and shiny mannequin wigs are a thing of the past – maybe due to the fact that, in years past, some children have been known to flip them off before ducking for cover (while then being cheaply entertained by those who’d walk past the store front window and turn to gasp at the smiling, but bald figure).

Was it the mannequin’s darling outfit that made me stop and glance up?

Naw. Not that, either.

Unlike the mannequins I remember that were constructed with life-like faces, colored red lips, and a saccharin smile, this one had no mouth.


And neither did her stiff and speechless companions.

There she stood on her gray-carpeted platform, modeling department store clothing, incapable of speaking a word to passers-by.

If she could speak, what might she say?

“Hey, lady, judging from your outfit, I see you could use a fashion overhaul.”

Or, “Unfortunately, ma’am, this darling outfit I’m wearing doesn’t come in plus sizes.”

Grrr. I might fumble around in my purse for my pepper spray.

Or, “Are those your children racing in and out of the clothing racks?”

At that, I’d promptly leave the store. With or without the children 🙁

But I’m no mannequin. God gave me a mouth. Which I use frequently. For what purpose, though? Because He also blessed me with two ears, useful for listening twice as much as I speak.

My dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, 

slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

Often I find that less-than-lovely words begin to crowd the inside of my mouth like pea gravel, begging to be spewed out. Then they bust open the ‘lip door’ before I can slap a strip of holy duct tape across them


Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Oh, to become a mouthless mannequin in those situations!

I do love that anger is an option. “…and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19b) Righteous anger burns at times and needs no mouth guard standing in its way. Jesus’s anger cleared the temple of those who were buying and selling there. He overturned tables and benches – abruptly, I imagine – in what was meant to be a house of prayer, not a den of robbers (Matthew 21:12-13).

In order to address the perpetrators, God the Father swung wide the door of His Son’s lips.

The next time unauthorized words beg for release, I’ll play like a modern, mouthless mannequin, making beautiful the gift of silence. Such an act of self-control might make Jesus attractive to those who pass by.

Making Jesus attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:11 (The MSG)


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