Proverbs -21; 32- 18) Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19) In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20) The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little. 21) The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.... 32) The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked is perverse.
You would think we would learn early in life to measure our words before we say them; to listen to them twice in our mind before we say them once. The results can be catastrophic if we don’t. Words cut to the core of who we are, and a lot of damage can be created in a hurry when our tongue runs at a high RPM.
Here are some guidelines for measuring your words:
- Don’t be hasty. Think about what’s necessary. We’re taught never to turn a power tool on unless we know exactly what it is going to do when the blade starts turning. Consider the effect of what you’re about to say.
- Don’t exaggerate. Using the words “always” and “never” are good examples-save yourself some grief with your spouse before you say, “You always do this” or “You never do that.”
- Check your volume. Screaming and yelling to make your point may make you feel better in the short run, but it also gives you more to be sorry for later and causes damage that another may never get over.
- Always ask yourself: Do my words give life and edify, or do they tear others down?
By: Hugh Poland in The Master Carpenter
Which of the above guidelines might help me during a difficult discussion? I know we can all relate to these guidelines. We have the opportunity to practice them everyday in marriage, with our children, family, and friends. And yes, it takes practice. This does not always come natural. Especially when we have been hurt by the other person. I know I have blown it on many occasions, but I am putting to practice these guidelines. I can already see the difference with my spouse and with my children. So remember to stop and think before we speak. For some of us it may take a little more effort than others to start putting these guidelines into everyday practice with our family. But don’t give up, admit it when you have blown it. And continue to keep on trying. It will be well worth what you and your family will receive from it. Speak life, not death.