Today I practiced saying, “I have to think about that. I’ll get back to you.” I got LOTS of practice with that phrase today.
Today was a VERY challenging tongue day.
Today I noticed that my nice, green lawn was totally, suddenly all dead. Which could only mean one thing – the lawn care company that is prepping my BACK yard for sod, actually sprayed a total kill chemical on the WRONG part of my lawn!!! Really. I am not joking. It must be practice-holding-your-tongue week. I wanted to yell, scream, threaten, and use bad words to describe the people who made this mistake. An extra one thousand dollars worth of sod mistake.
When the company rep came to the house to see for himself he actually said to me, “You are actually being very level-headed about this, some people would be screaming.” Ha. Good thing he didn’t see me an hour earlier when I was yelling at the ceiling in my living room… but that was a safe space. And I made myself wait an hour before calling him.
We’re not done with this lawn drama. I am going to get more practice being calm. I am also going to pray for FAVOR from God and some justice in the form of sod…
“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20
Let’s get one thing straight – none of us will never be so perfectly holy that we never offend someone with hasty words. Good. I feel better already. We all have this problem. This words-exploding-out-of-my-mouth-before-I-can-stop-them type of problem…
Hasty words, they have the potential to ruin so many relationships. Once said, you can never take them back again.
“I’m sorry” seems like a lame excuse after some of the things I have said.
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” Eccl 5:2
What is it that causes us to speak before we think? Why is speaking so urgent?
When I think about unnecessary words that have spilled out of my mouth in recent weeks, I come up with reasons like these: Anger, frustration, wanting to make my point or get in the last word, trying to be funny, or feeling pushed by the circumstances to do something now.
What can I do differently? What can you do differently?
What would help us stop (or at least slow down) the word spillage?
A five second rule? Ten seconds? The courage to walk away without needing to “win”? Imagining the whole episode played back on the projection screen in church? A friend asking us, “How did you do with your words today”?
Think about it… And let’s see if – for once – we can keep some words to ourselves.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for a man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20