Communication consists of putting words together into thoughts and then speaking them to others. Over and over again, we are warning in the Bible to be careful what we say with our mouths because we are either speaking death or life. I try to be aware of what I am saying and to whom I am saying it, but oftentimes, my emotions get ahead of my tongue and it just follows along that path of spewing what I’m feeling instead of thinking before I speak.
I don’t mean to or want to crush another person’s spirit, but I have seen it happen. I watch the person’s face change from happy delight to see me to overwhelming disappointment that they did. I must say that once I notice, I apologize, but wouldn’t it have been better to think first? I’m getting better at this skill, but I have not perfected it yet.
Maybe one of the reasons people walk around just looking down or with such sour faces is because of all of the ungracious words that have been spoken into their lives all day. I was very aware of what I said to my students when I was teaching because I wanted to point out that what they had done was a poor choice but that did not make them a bad person. In today’s world, we think nothing of going online and attacking someone’s character, whether we know them personally or not or whether they truly deserve the attack or not. Since I have not reached a state of perfection yet and God has not made me a judge over anyone except myself, it is much better for me to pray for a person who is in error than for me to take on the duty of pointing out how wrong they are about something, attacking their character because it doesn’t suit me. No one is served when the attack of words begins. The person you attack begins to avoid you and you lose a possible friend and you lose the witness to the Lord that you are supposed to be at all times.
I have seen this on line, many years ago and reminded my students of it when they were talking to each other. High school students especially seem to think that they become a bigger person if they can tear another person down. What I told them is that cutting people up with your words is not building yourself up but rather tearing yourself down in the eyes of others who watch what you do and say and lose trust in you. We would do well to follow this acronym when posting online.
I always enjoyed Audrey Hepburn movies and I had no idea that she had such wisdom as this quotation demonstrates. She was considered a beautiful and poised woman. Perhaps this motto was a real part of her life and that is why she was so lovely.
Anyone can make one of these graphics by using a site called Wordle. I happened to find this one online and each time I looked at it, a different word stood out. What strikes you as an outstanding word here? Words mean something, on paper and out loud. We have to remember that. We can take back words and apologize for them, but we cannot heal broken or damaged hearts. That takes a loving God and a person ready to forgive.