Our mind holds so much power in the controlling of our tongue and the words that flow out of our mouth.
“Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21
I have always been a personal lover of words. Words that are uplifting and inspiring bring me so much life. I love learning from the thoughts and words of others. So much of what I learn is from other people’s words. As I am typing this, I am truly just awestruck by the weight that our words hold. I think about how often my words are not giving life, because I am focused inward on myself, or I am too quick to speak before fully processing the weight and depth that the words I say carry.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
This verse gets me every. single. time. If only it were easy. If only we weren’t human! My goodness, this is so hard to live out every day, am I right? Feeling like you’re alone in speaking words you wish you wouldn’t? You are NOT alone. In fact, every human is with ya. I’m with you.
“Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24
So what do we do? What are the steps that it takes to put these verses into work in our lives? Let’s dive in together.
Slowing down before we speak must become a habit.
If we begin to slow down before most of the things we say that truly are good things and life-giving, it will become more of a habit for us to slow down in our speaking when we are angry or upset or in disagreement. Practice today, as you are in conversation with a friend, spouse, or co-worker evaluate the words in your head before you speak them out loud.
We have to listen to others with intent.
We must be able to listen with intention in order to slow before we speak. When we are truly listening, and hearing the person that is speaking to us, we are able to hear where they are coming from. Most of the time, if we are being honest, we are cultivating what we are going to say next in our minds, so we can easily miss the point that the other person is trying to make. We must quiet our mind to listen with intent. Active listening can play a role in every conversation you have. As you enter into conversation with someone, remind yourself to quiet your mind and repeat the words they are saying in your own mind, so that you hear the words they are saying. And when they finish, pause, and respond.
Kindness, Kindness, Kindness.
Kindness is always the answer. It is important that we ask ourselves the question, “How would I react if this was being say to me? What would it make me feel?” We have to think about the impact that our words will have on others. It is possible to call people out on their wrongs, express our anger, and get points across while using words of kindness.
Trust me, it is a process. A life-long process that we will never perfect. But as long as we are working towards speaking words of kindness to the best of our ability that is all we can do.
Lots of love,