Watch What You Say!
"Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Remember that ditty?
The rhyme isn't true. Words can bring harm
In our last discussion about wisdom, I spoke about a few of wisdom’s attributes. Protecting others from an onslaught of ugly words is a powerful way to act judiciously.
A wife called me recently. Her husband discovered a plastic lid missing from a spice jar in the kitchen. Their conversation went like this.
Husband: “Where is the lid to this?”
Wife: “I don’t know. Maybe it got accidentally thrown away.”
Husband: “If I were as stupid as you, I’d kill myself.”
Beg your pardon? He assumed she threw the thingy away and lashed out in his anger. Wise speech? Not hardly. How did those foolishly spoken words make the newly wed wife feel? She tried to confide her pain to me but found no words to describe her sorrow.
Proverbs 18:19 says, “An offended brother (wife or husband) is more unyielding than a fortified city and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Verse 21 follows with, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” NIV.
Keeping silent when one is angry, and it is a challenging proposition, but it remains the best technique to prevent heartache and misunderstanding.
In another post, I confessed my wordy mouth. I told you how I once kept a jar of M&M candies on my desk and called them my “Zip Lip Pills.” When I felt the need to offer my opinion—and too often this was the case—I’d grab a handful and chop down on them. Sometimes they worked and often the “Pills” didn’t.
I recorded this incident in my book: Sarah: Laney’s Angel. Laney tried the technique of candy pills to keep from sassing her boss. I laughed when I wrote it. Those “pills” didn’t do Laney much good either.
Guard our words? Hard to do. How do you refrain from speaking hurtful words in anger? Some people count to ten. Others walk away. What can we do to develop a think-before-we speak mentality?