Have you ever opened your mouth only to have words spill out that you wish you could get back? Me too. The Bible compares our mouth to fire or a wild animal that can’t be tamed. Listen to what Solomon tells us in Proverbs 10:19:
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
That means when we talk too much, we get into trouble. So, how do we hold our tongue? James gives us a few hints in James 1:19:
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Try these steps: 1) Be quick to listen. (My tendency is not to listen. I’m too busy thinking about what I am going to say next.)
2) Be slow to speak. (Once the words are out, they are like toothpaste from the tube, you can’t get them back in.)
3) Be slow to become angry. (Can you believe they said/did that to me? Chill out.)
When you listen, give that person your full attention. Look at their body language and listen to their tone of voice. What are they really saying?
And don’t jump in. What is their need? Encouragement? Does the conversation need to be changed if it is going somewhere it shouldn’t? Or do you just need to listen?
Don’t be so quick to take offense. God promises to handle any revenge issues. Do your best to return good for evil and let Him handle the rest.
Try to follow James’s advice. Put a stop sign where you will see it often. Stop and think before you speak today. The Holy Spirit will help you if you ask Him.
Fitness Tip: Over the next few weeks, I’ll give some top ten foods to munch. Today – oranges. Squeeze ’em, peel them, throw them in your salad, but eat some this week.