Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Power Of The Tongue

Hello All,

This week, I was reminded just how important it is for there to be good, healthy communication within the body of Christ. It was years ago that I learned, after having stepped over my words in a regrettable way, that I never wanted that to be the consistent pattern of my life. Thanks to the Word of God and His grace, I have succeeded more than I have failed, even though some of my failures have been pretty significant. I felt that with all the experiences of this past week, that I might just blog about a few principle statements that may have alleviated some of the issues of this past week and may keep you from the road to regret this week.

Principle #1 : "Think" Before You Speak

You've probably seen this acronym elsewhere. I myself heard it for the first time when Pastor Greg Laurie used it in a message a few years ago. I was in the car, desperately trying to write it on my hand while I was driving! Talk about "hands free!" In any event, the acronym is a filter. Ask yourself, "Is what I am about to say:

- True. This would help to alleviate a ton of problems in and of itself. If I have to find out if something is true, that would force me to go and ask someone about a given matter before airing it.

- Helpful. Are my words going to help the given situation? Will these words work toward a resolution or a reconciliation? If so, they are helpful and I should say them. If they will act as gasoline upon a fire, then I should abstain.

- Inspiring. Inspiration, meaning that a person is provoked to act righteously after hearing what has been said. Sometimes my words just provoke, but not to righteousness!

- Necessary. Does what I want to say, NEED to be said? Is this absolutely important to the discussion or can it be left unsaid?

- Kind. Ah, and here is a great needful reminder. Is this kind? Perhaps no more would need be uttered if I put what I would want to say through just this part of the filter!

Principle #2 : The Bible Talks A Lot About Our Speech; Learn It!

I have done my own search and now I think that you should do one. Open up Blue Letter Bible and type into the search engine, either the word "speech" or "tongue." Check out what comes up. Look at how many admonitions that the scriptures give regarding the way that we talk with one another. You might be surprised. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

"Walk in wisdom toward those [who are] outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
Colossians 4:5,6

"Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."
James 3:5,6

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

Collect your own set of favorites. The first time that I did this exercise, it was because my mouth had gotten me into trouble (again!) and I wanted to put a guard over my lips. I made myself read over and over again, these and a great many more verses. It was worth the time and investment.

Principle #3 : You Will Regret Less, If You Say Less!

Again, brevity is the key. I will often regret what I have not said. But that regret is alright. It's better than regretting something that I have said that I cannot take back. I'll pass on that sort of regret. This means a lot of things for me. It means, not necessarily in this order:

- Editing Myself. Not saying what comes to my mind first. I wish that I always obeyed this rule, but it is what I aspire to.

- Choosing My Words With As Much Care As Possible. I do my very best to mean what I say the first time, but not to be mean in what I say. Again, I wish I had a 100% record.

- Never Saying Anything In Anger. At these times, I am prone to be headed for Regretville and for long agonizing nights of wishing that I could take "that" back.

I hope that you who read will understand that your words, have the power to give life, to bless, to encourage and to honor the Lord. That same power can equally be used for death, cursing, discouragement and shame to the name of the Lord. Place a guard over your lips. Beware. I will put a guard on my lips yet again this week. I pray that you might do the same.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

3 comments:

Carrie said...

I needed this.

Aimee: said...

This post is a direct answer to a prayer that I fervently prayed this morning. Unfortunately, I can't give you the details here, but I thought you'd like knowing that. :)

Frank And Lela said...

Ladies,

Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

Blessings,
F.S.