Thursday, April 14, 2011

Slow to Speak

Yesterday was my seventh day with this tonsillitis. Yes, that's what the doctor diagnosed me with on Monday. Now I'm on three medicines, including an antibiotic. Thankfully the horrible sore throat is gone but an earache has replaced it and my cough is still alive and well.

Before my doctor visit my sore throat was simply awful. I couldn't speak without a lot of pain so I didn't open my mouth unless I absolutely had to. I am not normally a reticent person, on the contrary it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut. My silence felt strange.

I've grown up in a large family where words were always flowing. At the dinner table we usually had at least three conversations going between different people. If you wanted to get your say in you had to be quick and loud. Interruptions were as common as salt and pepper.

That was fine for then. It was fun, a lot like The Waltons. But now my family has grown up and I am left with my bad habits. Families are quick to forgive you when you blurt out thoughts you should have kept to yourself. Other people are not always as understanding. Besides that, the Bible commands us to "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry." James 1:19  This is where I have a problem. I have it backwards; I'm quick to speak and slow to listen.

If you dig down deep enough you'll find the root of my problem is selfishness. That's what prompts me to clamber to center stage and announce my own ideas, often trampling others' thoughts. In the end, I look like the fool in Proverbs 18:2,"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions." 

Words are important to God. Words are how He chose to express Himself to us. One of Jesus' names is literally "The Word". An overwhelming amount of verses in the Bible are devoted to teaching us how to honor God with our words. (A few to get you started - Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 15:1&23. Colossians 4:6, Colossians 3:9,16b&17.) Bottom line, God doesn't want us throwing our words around carelessly.

I wish I could tell you that since my throat has healed I have been much more careful with my words. I haven't. I still have the same bad habits; they aren't going anywhere fast. But I am more aware of my problem and, as I like to say, awareness is half of any solution. The other half is prayer and obedience. That's what I'm working on.

The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;

      the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
Proverbs 15:28

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I know that I have at times dealt with the very same things.
    Thanks for posting this! :)