Psalm 141 tells us to put a guard over our mouth and keep watch over our lips.
So often we betray ourselves with our words. We’ve all had that sinking feeling when you know you have said the wrong thing. Likewise, we know the pressure that comes when we are handed an opportunity to say the right thing but struggle to find the words. It comes out all wrong!
We also know how defensive we can be. If someone pushes the wrong buttons we can surprise ourselves with the force that comes out of our mouths.
It can feel like an impossible task, we know it is important to communicate the love of God, but so hard to do it effectively and consistently.
In our most recent bible study we covered the topic of openness and honesty. We understood the need for wisdom and the importance of building trust. We concluded with some helpful points to consider. A main one being the need to check our intentions - is it in someone else’s best interest to share that information? Also, and of vital importance, the need to know our own hearts.
If there are unresolved issues within, then ultimately this is what will be expressed. For example, If I feel inadequate, I won’t handle criticism and will react.
Knowing our own hearts comes from our relationship with God. As we journey with Him we learn to communicate. As we express our thoughts and feelings we give God the opportunity to replace our doubts with his truth.
Let the Lord renew your heart. As you do you will become aware of what comes out of your mouth. You will still make mistakes but God will give you chances to learn and grow. As we spend more time in communion with God we will be more aware of what is good and wholesome.
Finally, read Proverbs 13:1-4, 'A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes. From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.'
Perhaps some things don’t need a response, perhaps a pause before responding might be beneficial and perhaps a kinder alternative may bring about changes in your household this Christmas time.