Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of Wisdom, Maturity...and Lifeless Saltwater

Why have I not yet learned to keep my mouth shut?!

It's not as though I don't know better...I usually know when I would be better off remaining quiet. But I lack the self-discipline to follow through sometimes. There is that split second of decision, and because I am unprepared to respond correctly, I find myself caught in a mess of words which never should have been spoken.

I probably experience it most often with my family, since I'm with them more than anyone else. I find myself spewing out thoughtless opinions or criticisms that are not beneficial or edifying. Sometimes hurtful things need to be said, lovingly - but they still hurt. That's not what I'm talking about. I reference those words that come out quickly before I've even given myself time to consider their effects, the words that feel good to get out just for that moment, but quickly fill our hearts with grief and remorse.

Another way this problem of spoken words manifests itself in my life is through sharing frustrations with others. Sometimes we need someone to help shoulder a heavy load we are carrying...and other times the load is burdensome in a way that may stumble...and I should not impose it on anyone else. Striving for truth and honesty is no excuse for complaints, gossip or slander. Somehow in that moment between thought and vocalization of it, I have learned to quickly justify my voice in the name of openness and transparency. I believe God has placed my husband in my life to share those most burdensome loads with - but even more so, God Himself wants to be my comfort and encouragement through such trials. I often don't give Him the time to do that work of healing and restoration - I become impatient and "need" to TALK about it - rather than wait and trust in His Sovereign care.

Stupid. Unwise and immature. Ugh.

Yesterday I did this. I began sharing something with a friend and realized that I may be speaking more than I should. But in that moment of decision I argued that I should talk about it, I needed to talk about it - after all, it was just the truth, why hide it?

Why? Why do I do this?!

It's not that I don't hear or notice the Spirit's prompting, gently instructing me to stop. I simply do not listen to and follow His instruction.

I have a theory - it's nothing new, it's this: words in motion tend to stay in motion.
If I would just pause before I even begin to speak and ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment about what I should say, how I can be honest AND edifying...I know He would answer. Unfortunately, once the sentence starts, it's so awkward and unnatural to abruptly end in the middle that I seldom do - even though that still voice whispers "stop." I should have never begun, and had I inquired of the Lord before I spoke, I would not have likely ever opened my mouth. But stupid, stupid me - I just plow right through a conversation and then at the end of my words find myself recanting with a humiliating apology like I did yesterday: "I have to apologize. I never should have talked with you about these things. Please forgive me."

In maturity and wisdom with my words, I have yet to grow...

"We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check...With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water...But wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." - James 3:2, 9-12, 17-18


  1. I have caught myself in the same situation a time or two..;) argh!! Even sometimes when I know I shouldn't be sayin something the words still bubble out! Thanks for reminding me to ask for wisdom and discernment!! I love your honesty and willingness to share!!

  2. ugh, I am right there with ya, sister! It so easily can be disguised into something other than what it is, but strip away the "concern", or "hurt feelings", and there you have it.


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