“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Our words are powerful. With them, we either build one another up or we tear one another down. There are few neutral words.
Before speaking, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Is what I’m about to say T – rue?
- Is what I’m about to say H – elpful?
- Is what I’m about to say I – nspiring?
- Is what I’m about to say N – ecessary or N – egative?
- Is what I’m about to say K – ind?
When filtered through the lens of those five questions, we become much more discerning about what we say. That demonstrates that we are growing in wisdom.
It takes self-control to think before you speak. In and of yourself it can’t be done. Thinking before you speak requires a surrendering of your thoughts to the thoughts of The Father. It necessitates you asking, “Father, how would You have me respond in this situation?” The simple exercise of asking that question slows your response time. It provides time for more thoughtful reflection. After all, wouldn’t you rather give a thoughtful response to a situation than an impetuous overreaction? The goal in relationships is to be a wise “Responder” and not an over “Reactor.”
T.H.I.N.K. about your words lately. Have you lied to anyone? Have your words been hurtful to someone? Have your words been destructive to someone? Have you thrown a little jab at someone recently? Have you been unkind in your response to someone recently?
- If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, what do you need to do about it?
- What is your greatest struggle in thinking before you speak? Why do you think that is such a struggle for you?
- How would your life and relationships look different if you began to T.H.I.N.K. before you spoke?