If you know me at all you would know that I am a pretty straight forward, or as some would say, a blunt individual. I usually say what I’m thinking or what I think needs to be said. I am much better now at softening the delivery and packaging of what I say. But when I was younger, I had little or no filter, and it always seemed to get me in trouble. I credit my wife Kristen with sanding off the ‘rough’ edges of my demeanor and helping me see the impact of my words. Our conversations usually consisted of me saying… “The bible says speak the truth!” and she would follow up with, “You’re forgetting the most important part, it says speak the truth in love.” Wow! How impactful, and she was right. God was using her to help mold and shape me into a better man and I thank Him daily for that.
I came across an article this week from Our Daily Bread title ‘Careless Words’ that I think you will enjoy – I know I did.
My daughter has had a lot of ill health recently, and her husband has been wonderfully caring and supportive. “You have a real treasure there!” I said. “You didn’t think that when I first knew him,” she said with a grin. She was quite right. When Icilda and Philip got engaged, I was concerned. They were such different personalities. We have a large and noisy family, and Philip is more reserved. And I had shared my misgivings with my daughter quite bluntly.
I was horrified to realize that the critical things I said so casually 15 years ago had stayed in her memory and could possibly have destroyed a relationship that has proved to be so right and happy. It reminded me how much we need to guard what we say to others. So many of us are quick to point out what we consider to be weaknesses in family, friends, or work colleagues, or to focus on their mistakes rather than their successes. “The tongue is a small part of the body,” says James 3:5, yet the words it shapes can either destroy relationships or bring peace and harmony to a situation in the workplace, the church, or the family.
Perhaps we should make David’s prayer our own as we start each day: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” Ps. 141:3 — By Marion Stroud
With our tongue we give thanks to our Father in heaven. And with our tongue we speak bad words against men who are made like God. Giving thanks and speaking bad words come from the same mouth. My Christian brothers, this is not right! James 3:9-10 ~ NLT
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, please curb my careless speech and put a guard on my tongue today and every day. Help my speech to be wholesome and pure, building up and encouraging those around me. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”