I think there are two kinds of talkers in the world. At least in my world. Those that speak every thought that passes through their mind, and those that process thoughts and speak slower. Not talk slow with a draw like us here in the south, but they take their time to say what they actually mean to, and want to say. There might be a third type that never speaks, but we’ll leave them out for today.
I have friends that often fly off the cuff when they speak and it gets them into trouble. Sometimes it’s witty and funny, but the point is little thought goes into their speech until after it escapes their lips. These are the people that typically apologize a lot.
I’m the type person who likes to verbally process, which some people have taken that I don’t mean what I say because I might go back and forth on a decision a couple of times before actually making one. It has also gotten me into trouble sometimes because I’ve all to often been the person that shoots off a negative thought towards someone before actually processing it. I’m often the person apologizing for saying something I shouldn’t have because I said it in process.
But I’m always wanting to grow, to get better, to tame the beast no matter how hard James the brother of Jesus says it may be.
Here’s what our friends of the month, the book of Proverbs, has this to say about the subject.
Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.
Truthful words stand the test of time,
but lies are soon exposed.
Those who control their tongue will have a long life;
opening your mouth can ruin everything.
I love that the author here is reminding us of the power of our words. They actually do matter. A good friend of mine has a tattoo on his arm that symbolizes how once words leave our mouth, we can never take them back, no matter how much we may want to. Our words are like unretrievable arrows being sent out from our lips. So good or bad, encouraging or degrading, our words matter a great deal to the recipient.
My desire is to be a person that processes before I speak, because once it’s out, it’s out. I can change thoughts before they leave, but never can I take them back. I want to Speak Life like Toby Mac sings about. I want my words to build up those closest to me. Encouragement may not be a natural gift of mine, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work towards obtaining it.