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27 April - Be Slow To Speak and Quick To Listen

I was feeling a little upset about a few things and left the house for an appointment before I had the opportunity to say anything to anyone else. On reaching my destination, I had a bit of a wait which gave me ample time to think and reflect. In doing so, I clarified what was bothering me before I had any opportunity to react emotionally via text message or phone call. By the time I drove home, I was glad that I'd been made to press pause, which inadvertently caused me to be slow to speak (or to send a text).

God thinks our words are pretty important and cautions that we are quick to listen, slow to speak and to never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” (James 1:19 ESV; Ephesians 4:29)

When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.(Proverbs 10:19)

I was reminded today as I was triggered to emotionally respond to something that from our mouth, the heart speaks, so it's important for us to deal with our hearts; to deal with hurt, forgive quickly, keep out of the way of offence, and fill our hearts with those things that are good, true, praiseworthy, and worth thinking about. What we allow into our hearts and think about is what we will say.

"A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart." (Luke 6:45)

In a world where we can call people from almost anywhere and can send a text, email, or other social media messages in a millisecond, it’s so important that we take the time to check in on our words, their value, how our heart is and why and what, if we are reacting to things, has made us feel a certain way.

When we walk with Jesus through every circumstance and the things, we are feeling he helps us have self-control over what is coming out of our hearts and mouth and to show restraint in the words we speak and the emotions pouring forth from our life.

Today, I encourage you to be slow to speak (it’ll help keep you from making a mess of things) and to carefully measure the word you choose to share so that they are ones that your listeners will be lifted up by because you have chosen not to deal with an issue or to process a hurt or thought before you spoke.

May your words be those that are filled with life, seasoned with grace, love and encourage those that hear them.

“A man of knowledge restrains his words, and a man of understanding maintains a calm spirit.” (Proverbs 17:27) Prayer: Lord, help me understand the power of my words and not underestimate how good and bad my words can be to both me and those listening to me. Please remind me to guard my heart, for out of my heart, my mouth speaks, so my speech will be full of life-giving words today. In Jesus' Name Amen.

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