If you are like me, you have probably had more than a few times when you have said something without giving it a lot of thought. Maybe it was something you said to your parents. Or perhaps you reacted sharply to a teacher or friend or a server at a restaurant.
No doubt, like most, you experienced guilt or embarrassment in the aftermath. (If you didn’t, all the more reason to be reading this post.) We promise ourselves that we will change or we’ll react differently.
Or what about those times when you are alone. Let’s say you are working on a project in the garage and you accidentally hit your finger with a hammer. If you’re like a lot of people, you may blurt out something that would probably not get a G-Rating!
It really comes down to controlling, or taming, our tongue. Boy! If we could do that, we would save ourselves a boatload of trouble and grief. If you take a look in your Bible at the book of James chapter 3, you’ll find it says “…For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” However, it says just a few verses later in verse 8 that the tongue can’t be tamed.
So what are we supposed to do?
Obviously, at Lighthouse, we always go back to the Bible. Hey! Christian is in our name. So what does it say about it? Keep reading in James, just a few more verse down when it begins talking about wisdom. The long and short of it is, we’ve got to have wisdom and the source of all of it is from the Father….God.
Further, turn over to what King David wrote in the book of Psalms, chapter 39. He wrote in verse 1, “I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” Basically, David was saying in another version that he would muzzle his tongue.
Which brings me to my first point.
Think before you speak. After you’ve heard a remark from someone, don’t automatically start talking. Give yourself a few seconds and really think about what is about to come out of your mouth. Preview what you were going to say. Is it kind or cutting or sarcastic? Is it encouraging or edifying? HINT: Always side with the latter!
Talk less. Become an intentional listener. Make it your goal to listen twice as much as you talk. After all, God created us with two ears and one mouth.
Start today. Being fitting that muzzle on your mouth immediately. All of us can benefit from becoming better listeners and as we yield to God’s plan for our lives, we may actually appear wiser than we are.