Watch What You Say
Kerrville Daily Times
Have you ever said something and immediately thought to yourself, “why did I say that?” I have certainly done that too many times in my life. I remember when I was a little girl getting in trouble at school one day because I told someone in the lunch line that they smelled bad. It was the truth but unfortunately it caused more harm than good.
When I came home from school and told my parents what happened, my dad commented in a stern voice, “Sounds like you had diarrhea of the mouth today.” “You don’t have to say everything that comes to your mind Kathleen,” he continued. That very graphic verbal illustration was hard to hear, however, it did make a point.
My mother’s words were a little easier to swallow. She seasoned her words with grace and said, “Honey, I know you were trying to help the little girl but you didn’t.” She understood my motive was to help, but my method of doing so was lacking. Having a verbal and expressive personality, I have had to train myself to filter my words and season them so they are easy for others to swallow. I am still in training...
Many people justify what they say just like I did saying what they said was truth. Yes, truth is truth and scripture says the truth will set us free but there it also says a lot about mercy, grace, and compassion. Without grace and love, the truth is useless. Psalms 85:10 states, “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Any truth we speak, should always be seasoned with kindness as God is always kind to us, even when we do not deserve it.
Ephesians 4:29 declares, “ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Colossians 4:6 reiterates the same point to us about how to speak the truth to someone. We must speak truth but always say things in a way that are easy for others to swallow.
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
The other night I was cooking dinner and simmered some fresh collard greens. We are trying to eat more vegetables so I thought I would try something a little different. I tasted them and thought how bitter they tasted. I quickly tried to make them a little more appetizing by seasoning them with garlic, smokey seasoning, a couple of pieces of bacon, a jalapeno and salt and pepper. They were awesome and my husband, who is not a huge vegetable eater, loved them. Truth-greens are rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, calcium and are know for fighting cancer and heart disease. Without seasoning, they are a little hard to swallow, however, with the right spices, they are very easy, beneficial and enjoyable to swallow.
Scripture has much to say about our tongue and we are challenged over and over agin to watch what we speak. Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouths.” You do not have to go down too many streets in town before you hear a string of curse words. It seams to be common in our society. I am not here to judge anyone as I remember a time in my life I had simply picked up a bad habit of saying, “well crap” when something went wrong. I hate to admit that and it certainly was not very lady like. That phrase may not seam that bad to some people but for me I began feel God gently began to convict me. I confessed my failure and asked Him for help to change the habit. Each time I made the mistake, I would repent and finally the habit was broken.
The first step to changing anything in our lives is to look at our heart. The Holy Spirit convicts us of wrong to show us a better way, not to condemn us. God is in the business of changing our hearts and that is such wonderful news. I have had the joy of seeing Him change people that seemed hard as nails into some of the kindest people I know.
”Luke 6:45 is pretty straight forward in tying the heart and our mouth together.“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (NIV) I love how the King James version puts this scripture, “ Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Our mouth and our heart are linked together. God sent Jesus so we could have a new heart, a soft heart. Disappointments, hurt, offenses can all cause us to harden our hearts against God and others. God’s desire is for us to keep our hearts soft as stated in Ezekiel 11:19, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” One of my continual prayers is for God to keep my heart soft and to soften my heart. Repentance is also wonderful at softening the heart. The condition of our heart directly affects what comes out of our mouth. Just as our heart is vital to our physical health, it is also vital to our spiritual and emotional health and relationships with others.
I challenge you to take note of what you say and how you say it. Do your words need a little seasoning? They can be truth but they can also be harmful. Do you need to ask God to soften your heart or ask His forgiveness for some of your words? Let’s season all our words with kindness and grace so each word builds our families, businesses and community.
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. She can be heard on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on The REV FM, 94.3. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com