I am half way through 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue and I wanted to share some thoughts.
1. There are many ways in which we miss use the gift of language. I was convicted by all the ways I had not even considered. We have a responsibility to use this gift with wisdom and discernment. It is one of my convictions for the coming year to take my use of words more seriously.
2. One of the ways I can struggle with words is responding or committing in haste. I will say to the boys give me two minutes, without considering how much time I really need. Or just in the course of the day, with so many things going on, not really giving my attention to the question before answering. Decision making should never be done on the fly. My new rule which is working well is "I need time to think about that" followed up with "I will let you know when I decide." These two have been working better for me.
3. How often do we use our tongue to be decisive rather than to united those we come in contact with? When speaking I try to consider how my words will effect those I speak with, seasoning my words with grace. We have all had situations in general conversation where someone has mentioned another person in a not so pleasant light. We should see this as an opportunity to help unified them and not as an opportunity to destroy the relationship.
4. I love debate. A good argument brings out my pride. But, how practical is it living on a debate team. When we are argumentative we are training our children to love arguing. We are also lacking in the fellowship of peace and not creating the unity we are commanded too.
Proverbs 21:9 & Proverbs 25:24 both say
Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Consider what is more important your relationship or having a good argument.
5. No one is perfect, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Only He is perfect. We are all here for his glory and so when we self-depreacate with our words. We are denying the glory of God.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.
7. Do I meddle in the lives of others? Do I pry in the lives of others? This is called being nosey. Are we asking the question out of a sincere desire to help? We should always pray and check our motives before we meddle in the lives of others. For all you moms out there, once our children reach that age we must resist the urge to meddle.
8. Belittling can be a hard one to nail down. It is those little extra comments we add at the end. That little reminder of past mistakes used to hurt the offender. Belittling can be over come by forgiving whole heartily and accepting other as they are.
9. My youth was cynicism, I am a natural cynic. I tend to think people are motivated by self-interest, aren't we all. But, the question I fond my self asking more and more. Was it my job to judge peoples motives? I came to the conviction that only God knows what people have in their hearts and his word judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) I am now a reformed cynic and you can choose to be one too.
10. We only have people in our lives for a season and our goal should be to encourage and build them up with our words. Let us all choose to choose our words.