Enjoying the Journey
As children we were always instructed to think before we speak. Now, with children of my own, I realize that this is good advice for adults too. This simple rule would transform relationships and the very atmosphere in most homes!
God’s Book of Wisdom cautions us not to be “hasty” with our words (Prov. 29:20). In the Proverbs of the New Testament the Holy Spirit counsels us to be “slow to speak” (James 1:19). We are all too quick to share our mind before we truly examine it!
My dad has said through the years that there is a difference in responding and reacting. When we react we are operating in the flesh. When we respond with grace we are operating in the Spirit.
Traveling in different regions of the country my accent often gives me away. “You’re not from around here, are you?” Words reveal to whom you belong. This principle is true in the tone and content of our conversation as well. In the words famously spoken to Simon Peter, “Your speech bewrayeth thee” (Matt. 26:73). Your mouth always tells on you (Luke 6:45).
My wife has a little sign in our kitchen. I see it frequently (because I frequent the kitchen!). She got it from a friend and displays it for our family. It simply says…
Before you speak: THINK
T – Is it true?
H – Is it helpful?
I – Is it inspiring?
N – Is it necessary?
K – Is it kind?
More than once the Lord has used it to put a check in my spirit – to stop me from saying something that shouldn’t have been said.
This filter is helpful not only in the words we speak but in what we post to social media. Words matter – spoken or written. And they don’t just matter to men, they matter to God. The Lord Jesus said that we would stand before God for “every idle word” (Matt. 12:36).
So today when you are tempted to speak quickly…stop! Think first.
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).