Sunday, August 7, 2011

NICELY SAID

"When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly." ~Proverbs 31

This verse tells me that my role model doesn't engage in idle gossip. You would never catch her speaking poorly about someone behind the person's back. She isn't petty, doesn't dwell on past offenses. She takes the higher road and forgives people, looks for the best in them, and chooses to edify and encourage instead of tear down or get even. She lives by the motto, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Even when she has to confront, she does it kindly, always for the good of the listener.

I don't picture my role model as overly quiet or withdrawn either. In fact, I think she is just the opposite. I imagine her eager to speak up and engage in conversation. But she manages to keep watch over her tongue, knowing that it contains both life and death. When she speaks, she chooses to use life-affirming words. I think she is so secure about herself and her household that she can let the negative input she receives fall off of her. She doesn't need to be defensive or argumentative. Her only weapons are love and kindness, sprinkled with wise words that suit the moment.

Oh, to be like this woman! My tongue has caused me trouble too many times to count. Just when I think I am getting it tamed, out pops another insensitive remark or curse upon someone who has damaged my fragile self-esteem. Good grief...life is too short to live like this! People are too precious to alienate. Spirits are too easily bruised or broken to allow careless, or worse yet, hurtful words to flow from our mouths. I so want to grab hold of this!

God, only you can heal the junk from my past that causes me to be so sensitive. Only you can help me rise above the pettiness and take the higher road. Only you can help me tame my tongue and use it for good. Keep me ever thoughtful of how I speak, and fill my mouth with words of genuine kindness that will minister to those who listen.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia

"There is no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting up another." ~Anonymous    

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