“I get to shoot!”


I Get To Shoot!

Warren E. Berkley

I remember the day in 1966 when a big Army sergeant handed me a real rifle. Imagine, 18 Year Old Boys – some holding a rifle for the first time! You realize, some of these boys, like me, went from a Daisy Pump Red Rider BB Gun to an Army issue M-14, 7.72 mm Rifle, with a 20 round clip? In semi-automatic mode, at maximum skill you could fire 750 rounds a minute. They gave me one of those!!

With great fear and trembling the supply sergeant issued these weapons to 18 year old boys – who had no concept of the potential of this weapon; didn’t know how to load it, fire it or clean it. And many of these young men, when they received their rifle, had only one predominate thought: Oh, boy, I get to shoot!

So the day you get the rifle, you don’t get any ammo {the army can recognize immaturity a mile away}! That comes after days of classes, safety orientation, and learning how to handle this powerful weapon. Only after intensive training do you get to fire the weapon the first time, and that is under highly secure and controlled circumstances.

We ought to consider the tongue as a powerful weapon, only to be used as intended by the Maker, and to be used with much training, control and respect. But many of us know how it is. Much like the teenager with the rifle: “Oh, I’ve got a tongue; I get to talk . . . this ought to be fun.”

We need to put our heads under the control of God’s Word so our tongues won’t get us into trouble. Discipline can be built in us to well govern the tongue.

The desire to talk when you should listen – can be deadly. This is why James says, “be swift to hear,” but “slow to speak.”

If we will let it happen and pursue it daily, Scripture rears us through a maturing process toward living our lives with the discipline that pleased God.


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