Words are a powerful tool.
They can either build you up or tear you down.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” -Ephesians 4:29
I’ll tell ya… I was pretty good at using my words to tear people down. What I thought was a friendly joke, was a slap in the face for someone else. Not good.
Now, I’m not going to make up excuses for my words by saying, “I wasn’t thinking before I spoke.” Yeah, I can tell David! But, there is and was no excuse for the words that came out of my mouth. I made a choice and had to suffer the consequences.
“No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” -James 3:8
Look at the above verse from James. He says ‘no man can tame the tongue.’ James also says ‘the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.’ Think about it, we’ve all said things we didn’t mean to say or later regret. I know I sure have. It’s like it just blurts out and then I’m there scratching my head trying to figure out where it came from. Ahhh!
And, the worst part is you can’t take back the words once you’ve said them. You may think you can apologize later, but the damage is done.
Here’s a little trick I know of on how to handle your words before speaking them (I actually just used this yesterday!).
Say you’re mad at someone. Someone hurt you or spoke ill of you, and you just want to yell at them and tell them how you feel. Well before you do that write them a letter.
Yep, get out a pen and paper (if you must you can use your computer) and write them a letter expressing your feelings. Let it all out. Don’t hold anything back. Then, read the letter out loud to yourself.
What’s going to happen is you’re going to hear how you sound if you were talking to them. Do you think if you read that letter to them, or sent them that letter for them to read, you’d get a good response? NOPE.
But, what will happen is you’ll start to feel better because you just got a huge weight lifted off your shoulders, without the damage it could cause.
Now you’ll be able to ‘think before you speak’ with this person, without damaging the relationship.
Also, before you speak with the person again, I recommend praying to God asking for him to speak through you so you don’t let your tongue create irreversible damage.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.” -James 3:9-10
Keep spreading the Word!