For the last several months, I’ve been ruminating on something very particular.  I posted a thought on my Twitter account and it still sticks with me.  I wrote the following:

“There’s real wisdom in being quiet, not needing to add our 2 cents to every argument. If we can’t just get along, can’t we all just shut up?”

I get extremely frustrated with myself when my mouth goes on auto-pilot.  I invariably end up saying something I deeply regret.  In thinking about times when I’ve wounded relationships with my words, I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if I had just kept my mouth shut.  I don’t usually offer my opinion on hot-button issues anymore, and my reasons are two-fold:  My opinions are always in flux and I don’t particularly want to commit to an idea I may abandon later; and I don’t want to hurt anyone with my ideas or cause somebody to stumble. Even so, sometimes I get in the groove with talking and I mess things up…sometimes, badly.  My conscience stings and I can’t think of how to rectify the situation.

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  James says:

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!”

and

“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

I am haunted by those words far too frequently.  We all say things we don’t mean or say things that are cruel, or any host of word-related vices.  If we could only learn to think before we speak and count the cost ahead of time, we would save ourselves (and others) a lot of pain.

And, for the record, if I have ever hurt you, Reader, with any of my words here or elsewhere, I beg your forgiveness. Know that I have repented, and that I will do my best to bridle my tongue from now on.

I pray we all learn to do this.

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