A Few Choice Words
Dena J. Dyer
-- "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" (Proverbs 17:27-28, NIV).
I blew it, and I knew it.
There I stood, laughing with a friend about one of my husband's faults. Suddenly, he turned the corner and heard my remark. As his face fell, my heart sank.
I had wounded him deeply, and I felt ashamed. Later, I apologized to my husband, and I asked the Lord's forgiveness. Both forgave me, but I never forgot that my words caused a rift-however temporary-in two of my most precious relationships.
That day, I learned the truth of what the Bible says so succinctly in Proverbs 12:18: "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
In her classic book, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal, Carole Mayhall says: "I am convinced that daily, perhaps hourly, we need to ask God to help us bite our tongue before voicing careless remarks that can hurt, even devastate. We need to ask him to help us think before we speak."
As I've pondered the often-rash remarks that flow out of my mouth and studied scriptures pertaining to words, I've discovered I need to pray for Providential Patience. There is no way I can use words the right way without God's help.
Mayhall says: "We need to pray for quick sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit. When he convicts us, we must confess our speech as sin. It is more than a goof, a slip of the tongue. It is sin that we must confess. We must also ask God's help to improve in this area."
Amen, and amen.
Lord, help me to use my words to help and not to hurt. Give me the heart, and the speech patterns, of my beloved Savior. Amen.
by Dena J. Dyer. Used by permission.
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