As a blogger and aspiring writer, I think a lot about words.
Does this word or phrase convey my meaning more clearly than this?
Is this word edifying, praise-worthy, or encouraging? Or is it destructive and could cause harm? Could it be misconstrued or misunderstood?
As I write out my prayers, journal entries, innermost thoughts, and quiet musings, I am painfully aware of the weight my typed words carry.
But, what about my spoken ones?
In the office? On the phone? At home over the dinner table? In study with other Christian women?
Those words that sometimes spill out of my mouth before I have had time to tame them? Those words that often come from a place of frustration, selfishness, and my own sinful human nature.
Each time I pray, I have added a new sentence prior to my closing of “Amen” and I say “may all I think, say, and do point others back to you, O God.” It has become a fervent heart cry for some months now. I want my life to be hidden away in Christ.
I read a blog post this week by one of my spiritual heroes, Lysa Terkeurst, about the power our words, and I just felt the Spirit nudge that it need to be shared.There is such rich truth in this simple blog post that can aid us in reaping everlasting rewards.
I pray your heart is encouraged.
Sometimes I Talk Too Much…
by Lysa Terkeurst
“I have some opinions.
I have some thoughts.
I have a plethora of words that beg to be spoken.
And if I’m not careful those words can be too much. Maybe you can relate.
Unchecked words that come too fast bring with them a rush of trouble. That’s why it’s important for us to consider three things with our words …
1. Listening should take precedence over speaking.
Honestly, I think a lot of relationship troubles could be solved if we made the commitment to listen more than we speak. Gosh this is hard, isn’t it? Sometimes when I’m listening to someone all I can focus on is when I’m going to be able to jump in and say what’s screaming in my brain. Later I realize all that focus on my next words prevented me from really listening to what they were trying to say.
What if I made the commitment today to do more listening than speaking? I’m going to challenge myself to not interrupt. Wait until there is a true pause in the conversation. Truly consider what the other person has said. And then respond with care.
“To answer before listening — that is folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13 (NIV)
2. Words should be measured.
I need to engage my brain before I engage my mouth. Just like I consider how a purchase will affect my bank account, I have to consider how words will affect my relationship account. I can do this by thinking about how my words will come across and intentionally asking myself if there are better words that could be used in this situation?
“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)
3. Once words are spoken, I can’t un-speak them.
Once words come out of my mouth I can’t gather them back in. It’s like once you squeeze too much toothpaste out, you can’t get it back into the tube. Now certainly, I can quickly say I’m sorry. I can ask for forgiveness. I can attempt to make the wrong right. But I can’t un-speak my words.
If my greatest desire is to honor the Lord with every word I say and interaction I have, these three things are crucial for me to keep in mind. Instead of allowing my flesh reactions to lead me, I’ve got to boss my thoughts and opinions around using God’s Truth.”
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
**-See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/sometimes-i-talk-too-much/#sthash.KBe7U60X.dpuf.