Personally, I have only wonderful, happy, kind, sweet, lovely, and thoughtful words that make their way from my head and heart to my mouth. It’s my evil twin who seems to have some difficulties! Sometimes she says things she regrets; sometimes things just slip out – things she says she didn’t mean, and sometimes she wants to blame it on someone else for making her say things.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all blame someone else (like an evil twin) for saying the wrong things in the wrong way at the wrong time? I wish I had only happy, kind, and wonderful thoughts that then came out of my mouth, but the truth is I don’t, and I have no one to blame but myself when “those” words come out.
Shouldn’t it just be OK to “let it out” whenever we want to; just say what’s on our mind; give everyone a piece of what we’re thinking? While the bible says we can’t tame the tongue (James 3:8-9) it does matter what we say because when we put the shoe on the other foot and are at the end of harsh words, we don’t like it.
There is a solution! I’ve learned that:
- The process of words coming out of my mouth start long before they actually make their way out
- There’s a very short time from my thoughts to what is said!
- In that short time from head and heart to mouth…God can and will work to get me to think, act, and talk in the right way.
God can use those few seconds (or milliseconds) for me to come to the right conclusion of what I need to say in a right way. But it takes practice. Here’s the drill I try to practice to “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” (Col 4:6):
- Take every thought captive. II Cor. 10:5b. “…and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” What does He want us to think about? Are these thoughts really what we should be dwelling on?
- Let the mind dwell on good and right things. (read Phil. 4:8)
- Slow it down: thinking, acting and responding: “Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” James 1:19
- Take our walk with the Lord seriously. James 1: 22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Don’t blame others; take responsibility.
- Don’t get even; make things right. 1 Peter 3: 9, “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”
- And when we mess up, confess it, and ask for forgiveness according to I John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
It takes practice, but the more I practice, the less of my evil twin I see!