Lately I’ve been thinking about my tongue and how hard it is to control! This is nothing new for me. When I was young and my words often got me into trouble my Mom would say, “Susan it’s not what you are saying it’s how you are saying it.” My husband has often mentioned the same thing to me so I know it’s a legitimate criticism. It’s so easy for me to come across as bossy, arrogant, or critical without even realizing it.
When we were kids ourselves we learned the rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. “ Nothing could be further from the truth. Words hurt, words are remembered, and words are hard to take back. This is true no matter how old we are.
Since our own children are now adults we realize even more how important our words are and how careful we need to be in what we say and how we say it. This becomes even more crucial when we have in-law children. During this season we are also learning that it’s more important simply to listen than to offer advice. And that’s hard. After all we’ve spent most of our life advising and directing our kids.
This week I read Proverbs 16. This one Proverb has enough on the use of words to make anyone pause.
“The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction. A wise man’s heart guides his mouth and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16: 21, 23-24)
Oh how I want my words to be sweet and healing.
The screen saver on my computer is a photo of a beautiful mountain set behind a gently curving rural road and the white steeple of a small church. Across the top I have written:
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
This is a good prayer for me to pray every time I turn on my computer!