One thing I know...I like to talk. That is why when I sat down yesterday to read the next chapter in "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?" entitled "Wise Speech," I knew I was going to get kicked in the butt! The whole book takes excerpts from Proverbs 31, and this particular chapter was verse 26: She opens her mouth with wisdom, and teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
In reading the chapter, I reaffirmed a few things about myself.
1. I often speak recklessly.
2. I often speak out of my emotion.
3. I complain way too much.
4. I often respond according to my assumptions rather than what is actually being said. (This is a BIG struggle for me!)
5. I speak out of the overflow of my heart (Matthew 12:34-37), so when my heart is not in the right place, I will speak unwisely.
I cannot simply change the way I talk, I must first change the thoughts of my heart and what I put into my heart. My words come from the overflow of what is in my heart. The more my heart is filled with Jesus, the more my words will reflect Him and I will speak with His wisdom. Several quotes in particular stuck out to me in this chapter, and rather than try to summarize them, I'll quote them for you.
1. The author quoted Matthew Henry, who said, "we shall find we have been often the worse for our speaking, but seldom the worse for our silence."
2. "Complaining drowns out our witness that God is good and His ways are best."
3. This one made me stop and read it several times over. "When we grumble and question and complain, we have become God's judge. We have told Him at least two things: 1) You are not enough for me. I cannot be content with things the way they are. This difficulty is too great for me to respond to in a way that pleases You. You are deficient, and ultimately You do not satisfy me. I want a different God. 2) You are not wise. If I were You, I would do things differently. You should have consulted me before You allowed this difficulty in my life or before You chose to keep that good thing from me that I want and don't have."
Such sobering words. I often think of complaining as such a little thing (even though I know it's not true because God says to do everything without complaining or arguing). But it is sobering when I think that by complaining, I am telling God that He is not enough, that He is deficient, and that He does not satisfy me. I am saying I want a different God, a self-made idol that allows me to have things my way because I think my ways are best.
Proverbs is a great place to read if you want to learn to control your tongue.
10:11: The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.
10:19: When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who hold his tongue is wise.
10:21: The lips of the righteous nourish many
12:18: Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
13:3: He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
17:27: A man of knowledge uses words with restraint
18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death
21:23: He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
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