My small group has been reading through the New Testament together every other week for awhile now. I thought it was fitting that I led the discussion on James 2 and 3. There is a whole section about taming your tongue. I say fitting because this is not something that I have mastered. Karen Ehman's book, Keep It Shut discusses this very thing.
It is funny because for being an introvert I can sure talk sometimes (ask my friends)! I actually refer to myself as a social introvert. Sometimes I open my mouth out of hurt and anger and say things that I most definitely do not mean. And then sometimes I talk out of nervousness. And then sometimes, I just don't seem to think.
There was the time within the last year that I asked a young mother if she was expecting. You know the tunic shirts that are in style, she was wearing one and I just knew that she was pregnant. So I asked her when she was due in front of her husband and others. My heart melted when she told me that she was not expecting. Here was this beautiful young mother and I had hurt her deeply because I simply kept talking...
My sister and I in 2001
And then there was the time many years ago that I had a blowout with my own sister! My Dad was sick, very sick and we didn't know what was happening. I had a young baby, D was 6 months old. To say that we were a little stressed would be an understatement but my behavior was still atrocious to say the least. We basically got into an argument and I unleashed on her. I actually cursed, something I have not done much in my entire life. Shocking I know. Did I say things that I didn't mean? Yep! I said some things I was thinking but they were definitely not nice (Lord I need some more renewing of my mind please). Thankfully, we were able to talk about it later (not right away but eventually) and resolved our conflict. I love my sister dearly and I am thankful to have a good and honest relationship with her. She is one of my confidants.
On my recent women's retreat there was a discussion on negative self talk. We can be so hard on ourselves and those we are closest too. I think there are times when I lash out at those that are the dearest to me - myself, my husband and my children. Often, it takes much more strength and discipline to take a moment and pray for or through a situation. I have been a mother for 11 years and I am still learning this lesson - a work in progress I am. Thank you Karen Ehman for encouraging me to press into the Lord and really think about the words that flow from my mouth. May God continue to transform me, may I be aware of the power of my tongue and may I use this weapon to bring truth and life to this world.
I really enjoyed the Proverbs top ten "tweets" on the tongue that Karen shares. My favorite is 13:3 - Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
This book will encourage you to gossip less, pray more, be a better listener, speak the truth in love and overall pay attention more to what you say.
You can find out more about this book and/or purchase it from Family Christian here.
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