Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

In this day and age, at a time when it has become socially acceptable to immediately tweet and post every thought we have, we’ve forgotten the value of the old adage, “Bite your tongue.” There is value in not expressing every little thought that pops into our heads.  There is value in being judicious about what we say and don’t say to others.  When we are careful with our words, our relationships are happier and the world generally is a more peaceful place.

The problem with expressing our every thought and feeling is that our thoughts and feelings are fleeting. I may be irritated with someone at this moment, but more likely than not, that feeling will be gone by tomorrow.  So, what is the value in expressing my irritation?  I will only create conflict by doing so.

For instance, yesterday it snowed in my neck of the woods. When I finally got home after a long day, I arrived to a driveway that hadn’t been shoveled.  I was mad that no one had done it, and I let everyone know it.  But today, that feeling of irritation is completely gone.  I can’t even muster up the smallest amount of annoyance over the issue.  Was it worth expressing my irritation yesterday, or should I have bitten my tongue?  Should I have let the matter go and said nothing?

Yes.  I should have let it go. Not every issue needs to be addressed.

Of course, important issues need to be addressed. We can’t slide everything under the rug.  If we do, resentment grows in our relationships like a cancer.  But as we grow in wisdom and maturity, we learn which problems are worth addressing and which are worth letting go.

Moreover, we don’t always communicate most effectively with our words. For example, I have a teenage daughter and older stepchildren, all of whom are at different levels of emotional maturity.  Trying to correct their behavior by speaking to them directly is about as worthwhile as slamming my head into a wall.  So, my husband and I instead try to lead by example.  Sometimes they get the point, and sometimes they just don’t.  But in many situations, setting a good example is far more effective than merely talking.

It is also worth remembering the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” We don’t always have to express ourselves with our words.  So, if I don’t like what someone is saying, I can choose one of two options: I can argue, or I can walk away.  Arguing is always a waste of time.  It always is far better to walk away.  Walking away conveys your displeasure effectively.  And it protects you from saying something that you will later regret.

Our goal each day should be to use every one of our words to build others up. If we aren’t doing so, then we should be biting our tongues.  Today, consider asking God to give you wisdom so that all your words give grace to those who hear them.  And ask God to give you the strength to bite your tongue when needed.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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