The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. Proverbs 15:28 ESV
As I was driving on the Interstate yesterday, I saw tremendous damage to a guardrail leading up to the beginning of a bridge. It revealed signs of a very bad accident. I wondered if the person sustained substantial injury. I also thought the guardrail saved them from going over the bridge. I said a quick prayer of thanks to the men who installed the guardrail and for the engineers who designed it.
King Solomon suggests that taking time to ponder what is about to come out of your mouth reveals wisdom, while someone who blurts out without thinking is foolish. Each person processes information differently. Some are wired to be quiet and calculated in speech. Others are thinking while they are speaking. They hear their thoughts and adjust accordingly. Regardless of the pondering the following is true.
The mind thinks about the issues of the heart. The tongue is the gateway for the conversations of the heart. Every person is constantly evaluating what has been spoken to them or about them, what their next steps are going to be in word or deed, and what people think about them and vice versa.
Jesus said what comes out of the heart through the mouth reveals what has been happening in the heart. James said out of the mouth comes both blessing and cursing…”brothers these things ought not to be.” James also says we have trouble controlling the words which come out of our mouths.
So, have you contemplated what guardrails you could establish for yourself to keep you from blurting out evil or hurtful words? Guardrails are there to help you if you do steer off the road, they also help define the boundaries for the middle of the road.
1. Memorize Philippians 4:8-9 and find out how to PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Meditate on how speaking only what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and what brings honor.
2. Flash the Do Unto Others sign in your mind. Ask the question, “Would I want to hear what I am about to say toward me in the same wording and tone I am about to speak?” The sign image in your mind is a guardrail.
3. Learn to listen and stay in step with the Holy Spirit. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16. He will always lead you to speak what is right for the moment.
Additionally, Learn to speak these three phrases. “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” The authenticity of asking forgiveness establishes markers in the heart of where you veered off the path. It also shows the high value of how you feel about the other person.
How do you regulate your speech? What other guardrails do you have for your life which might benefit others?
Today, on Thinking on Thursdays why don’t you start your day with thankfulness for others. It will put your mind on the right path. This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Rejoicing and being glad has a perfume effect on all of the rest of your activities. You will like the smell.
Blessings Love y’all