Don’t you hate that auto spell check thing on your phone and how annoying it is? You know, how it can change what you intended to say, into something totally different?
I’ll give you an example: My daughter-in-law Ashley dropped off my sweet little grand daughter for me to babysit. She was crying when Ashley left. I got her settled down and wanted Ashley to know not to worry, that the little one was fine and to enjoy her time without kiddos tagging along. So, I texted and Ashley responded with: What? Read your text!
Spell check had changed my envisioned message of: ‘She is smiling and happy to’ – ‘She is smoking and happy’…..aaahhhh
So it seems we do that with our mouth – more often than not DO NOT watch it with auto correct. We put one foot in our mouth, or even both feet and say just stupid, or even damaging and caustic words——
As human beings we seem to have two options to our mouth: Open and Closed.
Boy, I wish I could learn to keep mine closed more often than open. Do you know what I mean?
Do you ever:
- Give your opinion, even when it is not asked for
- Blurt of secrets you shouldn’t share
- Say something about someone that is not kind
- Talk about others private life aka gossip
- Make the conversation about you instead of the other person/people there
- Think your whisper is quieter than it really is
- Be critical of others unnecessarily (it doesn’t change the situation by doing this, it just make us jerks in the eyes of the one we are talking to)
- Put someone down, maybe it makes us feel better (not sure why we do this, but we all seem to)
- Not stand up for a principle or value we believe, but are intimidated or just too lazy to say anything
- Inappropriate sarcasm
The list could go for miles, but you get the idea. My Grandpa Bob used to say: Carrie, you have diarrhea of the mouth. Sp far I haven’t outgrown it, but I am determined striving to get better.
So, if you share this ‘talent’ with me, what can we do to be better?
I heard a saying years ago: Put Your Mind In Motion Before You Put Your Mouth In Gear Oh, heaven, please help me accomplish that very thing!
Here are a few ways I am working diligently on to improve, to turn this weakness into a strength:
- Think before I open my mouth
- Listen before I open my yap aka mouth
- Ask myself WHAT am I going to say?
- Is what I am going to say uplifting?
- Is what I want to say going to help solve the problem or situation?
- Is how I intend to respond something that God would approve of?
- What I am going to say, is it what I would want the other person to respond with? Basically the Golden Rule principle. (Tough Love IS and needed good when appropriate)
- Think BEFORE I open my mouth
Why does it matter that I try to change this weakness into a strength, especially when it requires SO much effort and willpower?
Because once something is said, it is there – for better or worse – it is done. We can apologize, and should do all we can to fix our mistake, but how much healthier would be the relationship all around, if it had not been said in the first place.
Sarcasm is so acceptable and mainstream today, it is almost expected. Mockery, disrespect and disdain are used like a tennis or volley ball, being served back and forth to see who can ‘one-up’ the other until the comments are completely out of bounds, or a winner is declared. These words destroy, cut and wound more seriously than any physical wound ever could.
Sarcasm is one of the vilest of forms of speech.
Why? Simple. There is always a thread of truth woven in the ridicule. The receiver of the sarcasm knows, a grain of the negative conversation is a truth of what the other person thinks. Consequently, the relationship is damaged from the inside like a cancer to fester; eventually killing any friendly emotions or feelings that once existed.
In the scriptures it refers to the tongue as a two-edged sword and what an apt description!
Our words can cut our loved ones, friends and even strangers as they go in, and as they come out.
How are we doing it wrong?
If we are warning, or teaching with love and the proper spirit with us, it is fine. However, I would bet that 90% of the time, we tend to scold or lecture with:
- loud voice
- mean face
- inappropriate language
- not with proper attitude or motive
- bullying to get other person to do what you want
Why does this matter? Why is this a problem?
Because WE = that is you, me, can say stupid things all the time. To our family members who disappoint us with their poor choices, friends who abandon in time of need, the waiter who gave terrible service at the restaurant, the driver who almost clipped us on the freeway who wasn’t watching, etc. – all because we are human, do things that ‘annoy the fire out of us’ (my hubby’s saying), give us grief, make us cry, disparaging, hurtful, infuriating, are unkind, do things bring us to our knees and all the other trials and hardships life can throw our way, can try our very core.
However, NOTHING, NONE of it gives us the license, or the right, to say ANYTHING that is displeasing to God, and what He would have us say.
And that is because WE are His GREATEST creations! The world is filled with beauty galore. I see amazing things on the internet and in pictures. Waterfalls, forests, everglades, deserts, volcanoes, oh so many things I can’t even imagine are real that are on this beautiful earth; His handiwork is glorious! Yet, WE are above it all! Every single person. YOU, ME, your sister, brother, child, spouse, parent, neighbor, co-worker, everyone is HIS son or daughter.
So, when we use language to belittle and devalue another human being we are, in reality, mocking God. We are saying that we have the authority to bully and oppress one of His sons or daughters by using communication in any way that is not sincerely intended to help, lift, inspire, edify, encourage or be kind in any fashion.
That is why I must learn to curb my weakness to speak without thinking. To make this weakness a strength.
To speak in ways that are encouraging, kind, uplifting, to boost another their journey in their walk in life today and to work a bit harder at being a better person.
This is my goal. To LEARN this principle. To PRACTICE it consciously. To BECOME a much better person. I hope you will join me!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today
For More On This Topic:
‘A Mother’s Shadow‘ a novel by Carrie Groneman