It’s been a while since I posted about our Women’s Bible Study at church. I’m going to line up a few posts to catch us up over the next several Tuesdays. The third session in our series was on taming the tongue. As I’ve been thinking about being a good steward so much lately, I’ve realized I must also be a good steward of my words. This will be good to review in light of that.
Donna began by sharing that our tongue is a thermometer of our heart. What we talk about indicates what we think about, and what we say defines what we are to become. So we must be intentional about what we say, don’t say, when we say it, and to whom. We have a choice about what we say. She then outlined eight points related to using our words and taming our tongues.
1) Be slow to speak. You can never be too careful with your choice of words. What I say represents me: what I’m thinking, how I behave, what my values are . . . so we should take our time and choose wisely.
2) Guard your heart. The tired adage “Garbage in, garbage out” applies here. Just think about certain phrases you use over and over. Chances are you picked it up from somewhere and maybe didn’t even realize it. Since the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart, it makes sense that we should guard our hearts. You also have to guard your heart from words spoken over you. What people say to us and about us affects us, sometimes to the very core. Guard your heart from those words that are not truth.
3) Speak the truth lovingly. First, a focus on the truth. By this, Donna said to mean what you say. Do you use the word “maybe” to delay giving the real answer when you know it’s really “no”? Donna talked about how we put our children off with the word maybe, rather than just saying no, because we don’t want to deal with their response. “Let us fortify our virtue by calling things by their proper names” (not sure who she quoted.) Do you even notice what you’re saying? These days, we move so fast that we don’t even pause to notice what were saying or how we’re saying it. And of course, the second observation is to speak the truth lovingly. Many people use the phrase “I’m just being honest” to justify hurting another’s feelings. We can be honest and loving at the same time.
4) Admit when you’re wrong quickly. How we say what we say is important. Silence is powerful. Do we use silence to manipulate?
5) Avoid nagging. Just because someone hasn’t responded to us immediately does not mean they haven’t heard us.
6) Build others up. We are exhorted many times in the Bible to use our words to encourage one another. Are we taking time to do that?
7) Be concerned and show it.
8 ) Learn to listen, listen, listen.
I think this fits into our redefining superwoman theme because it defies the myth that our words don’t have power. We live in a society where we as women are told we must be aggressive and loud in order to make our thoughts known. We are told we are entitled to voice our opinion. We react and don’t think about what we are saying. The Bible calls us to live counter-culturally when it comes to the tongue. We must think before we speak. We should be intentional about what we’re saying. And, as Donna points out, we have a choice.
So, how are you choosing to use your words today?
For more posts in this series, click here.