Taming the Tongue

Our words are powerful.

'Tongue' photo (c) 2008, Joe Shlabotnik - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/James 3 talks about the need to tame our tongue, one of the most powerful weapons we have. The book of James even compares the tongue to a ship’s rudder, small but extremely powerful in shaping the course of travel – or in this case, the course of a conversation.

I know just the right words that can either build up and encourage my wife or words that will get under her skin. This is just one of the many by-products of marriage. Today, in a moment of frustration, I started to let my words get away from me. Fortunately, (probably by the prompting of the Holy Spirit), I was able to silence my tongue, regain some control, and steer the conversation back towards a topic way more positive. Still, this moment of exchange was enough to shift the mood of the afternoon for a short while, and if it were possible, I’d like to regain and redeem that jaded time.

I hope and pray that I can choose my words wisely, especially around my wife and loved ones. If I can’t love those closest to me, how can I be expected to love those that hate me?

Too Quick to Say “Sorry!”

Have you ever said sorry without actually feeling sorry? Or you say it just to appease the other person’s anger, hoping that it will abate sooner than later? Sometimes I do this, and it really bothers me. It just pops out from time to time, and my brain doesn’t seem to catch up until later. This is most definitely one habit that I would like to break, especially since I too frequently interact and pray to God in a similar manner.

How can I be more genuine?

'July 24 - See No / Hear No / Speak No Evil' photo (c) 2006, Rob Gallop - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/One way I think this might be able to happen is by applying the advice of a university Spanish professor named Ochoa. She and her husband said they only had one rule for their kids: THINK. At least this is what they told me. I asked for some elaboration, and they said so many bad decisions can be avoided if one were to pause, take a moment to think about the consequences for themselves and others, and only follow through if a good outcome could be seen.

The only problem I see with applying the THINK rule is that it requires self-discipline to enable – the very thing that I am lacking so often!

Nevertheless, what I can’t do, God can. Where I come short, Jesus steps in and perseveres. When I am weak, He is strong.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL; against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23