Just saying ?….
No. Sorry. Nope. Actually…we are never…ever…”just saying”….
Words. Man. Oh. Man. The power within them…it’s SO MUCH MORE than just some consonants and vowels and sentences…inflections and expressions.
Our sentences can sentence someone to a life of wondering if what we just said is WHAT and WHO they really are?!
Maybe you are not aware of this yet, so I’m here to tell you…You have the power in your tongue to speak LIFE and DEATH.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21…The Message version puts it like this: Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.
If we wanted we could take out a piece of paper and write down all the times someone has said something that hurt us, crushed us, belittled us and left us for dead. But, it would only be fair if we flipped that piece of paper over and began listing the times we lost a grip on our own tongues and flew off the handle…leaving someone questioning their worth and creating distance between us and those we love. Ouch. I wonder if the list of our own verbal scars would be much longer than the times we remember being the offender. Oh how we carry around the words spoken to us…it’s too heavy.
Let’s set it down.
Let it go.
And do everything we can to make sure we are not increasing the load for someone else.
Can we do that?
It will truly change you when you recognize that we are all walking around with a loaded weapon…a *”humanly untameable…unruly and poisonous” beast totally ready, willing and able to destroy someone…and often someone we love. *james 3:7-8
You can’t take back what you’ve said…it’s already out there. And the sting will remain long past the apology. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt” ~Abraham Lincoln.
And if what is coming out of our mouth is rude and nasty and distasteful…well…here’s another thing we need to know:
Our words are just our hearts talking…yep…
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” ~ Luke 6:45 NLT
We have soooooo many ways to communicate a message! Face to face, phone, text, email, social media….so many ways to get it wrong and wish we’d stopped before we fired that weapon.
How about this…before we open our Chatter Boxes let’s PAUSE and ask ourselves:
Are my words going to build up or tear down?
Will my words encourage or discourage?
Use the TKN acronym: Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?
Am I gossiping?
Is this MY story to tell?
Do I really…like really know what I’m talking about?
Will I still feel this way tomorrow? You’ll be amazed at how different you feel about something if you just give it 24 hours.
Is silence in this moment a better option?
And look here…
If you have to say, “Don’t say anything, but…” before you say anything…just don’t.
Taking a verbal jab at someone followed by “just kidding” is not funny. No one is laughing.
I’m sure you can add to the list but it’s a good place to start…don’t ya think?
And remember this one too…
To belittle someone is to be little.
Let’s be the bigger person…