If you should live a life discrete,
Five things observe with care,
How you speak, to whom you speak,
and why and when and where.
A friend of mine e-mailed me this little poem the other day. Surely without meaning to, her message caused me a git of a twinge. You see, one of my worst traits is holding my tongue and not thinking about what I say before it comes out of my mouth. The older I've gotten the better I've become at holding back hurtful words but unfortunately the years have also blessed me with the ability to reflect upon words I've uttered in the past that have hurt others.
I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence."
Maybe I should ask for a muzzle for Christmas.James 3:6
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
I've had a lot of regret about words that I've spoken in the past. Words do have strength and our speech can be harmful to others and ourselves. My younger self didn't give much thought before or after to the words that came from my mouth. But as a mother of young children I've learned that I have to watch my words carefully! Not just because my kids may learn a bad word from listening to me (which they have) but sometimes my harsh words have been as hurtful as a slap. I've seen it on their faces.
If my kids get hurt on the playground they are easily comforted by a hug and a band-aid. But the hurt they bear from my harsh words are an injury that may never be undone. That knowledge hurts me too, knowing that I hurt my children with words. It takes a lot of effort to slow down and THINK about the words that are about to spill from my mouth but God reminds me that I should be an example in all things and all parts of my body and actions.
1 Timothy 4:12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Dear Lord, It has never been my intention to do harm to others. Please guide me and my mouth that my actions and words may be set forth as an example pleasing to You and never be harmful or damaging to others. Amen.