The Bible has quite a bit to say about our tongues and the power they wield. Life and death, hard to tame, like the rudder of a ship or a bit in a horse’s mouth, like wildfire.
Here, keen observation and wisdom reports that the one who thinks before he speaks has long life, but the one who chatters without thinking comes to ruin.
How we see this played out in all sorts of situations today! Something happens and we react in milliseconds, spewing words without thought. In some situations, thoughtless words destroy a life, crush a spirit, or cause death.
I am horrible at knowing what to say to the grieving. To me, there are no good words to say, so I often say nothing, letting the tears in my eyes speak for me. That decision took a lot of thought.
Some time ago, I was in just such a conversation and could feel the heat rising within me, even as I felt the word-blows of the other person. I knew I needed to calm down, so I excused myself for five minutes and went to another room. I was on my knees, asking God to give me words, to guide my thoughts correctly, and to help me take the pain without doling out any.
When I returned to the situation, the heat in both of us had dwindled and we were both able to discuss from a place of love instead of hurt. We acknowledged the pain, but it didn’t rule the day.
A lot of damage had already been done by those tongues of hurt and anger in the past, but that one five-minute break quelled the furthrance of it that day.
We think we’ll be seen as slow or stupid if we take a moment to think through what has been said to determine what our response should be. That might be the case the first few times, until others recognize that you’re working to provide the best answer to what they’ve said. If you’re the initiator, it’s especially important that you choose your words carefully.
Put some thought into your words today.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!