Monday, August 8, 2011

words.

I’m watching my mouth these days.

Back in February, I made a commitment to try to be a more grace-filled person. I wanted to respond to people in love and generosity, to be the kind of person others genuinely want to be around. I wanted my home to be a safe haven for friends and loved ones. And everything I wanted to become kept coming back to that one word: Grace.

Here I am, months later, and I’m realizing that being grace-filled encompasses more than just the actions I take and the thoughts that I think. This need for grace extends to the words I choose to speak.

Too often, my opinions — though, I hope, guarded and offered out of love and concern and some form of 25-year-old wisdom — come rushing out, delivered to people who didn’t ask for them.

Advice comes spilling out of me, unwanted and later, as a result, unheeded.

My anger over some perceived injustice stews until I let words escape that should have been kept in.

These words, I am relearning, have power beyond me. Once let out, they can’t be taken back.

I wonder, then, what do grace-filled words look like? Because it’s far easier to know what they aren’t.

They aren’t words spoken in a hurry, in visits with friends and whispers behind backs.

They aren’t spouted off in anger or written in a moment of hurt.

And as I ponder, His answer rings loud and clear, and like so many truths, it is simple: grace-filled words heal.

Gossip tears people apart.

Sarcasm hurts feelings.

Lies destroy.

Dirty jokes bring shame.

But graceful words? They heal.

Simple as that.

Before I write, before I speak, before I share, my first thought should be: What’s the point?

Are these words going to help or hurt?

Are my words going to bring blessing and honor?

In short, are these words going to heal?

 ---

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
- Proverbs 12:18

 * print by Naptime Diaries, via Pinterest

7 comments:

HazelandMare said...

Very wise thoughts, dearie! It is so easy to slip up. But you're so right- thinking before speaking can make all the difference. :) What a great message to remember!

Purposely at Home said...

You have such wisdom, annie. Thank you for the reminder.

Alyss said...

Such wisdom. Love this post.

jenna said...

I love the images you find for your posts, Annie. I always seem to end up putting them as the background of my desktop to continually remind me of the messages received from your blog. This is the case today as well. I, too, have been trying to watch my words. I simple joke can cut deeply, and I want my whole being to be encompassed by grace and love and joy and God.

sherri lynn said...

I needed to read this today! My prayer lately has been that I would stop and think before I speak. I don't like the "overflow" that has been coming out -- I want my words to be gracious and healing. Great post!

Bethany G said...

Beautiful. This speaks so clearly to my heart.

Annie said...

I agree with this completely. I struggle with watching over my words, as I have a propensity for sarcasm. And although I feel smart when I come up with a really witty comment, I need to better examine how it's affecting the people around me.

I took a philosophy class in high school and one of the things my teacher talked about was Socrates's triple filter test. It's just three questions: is it true? is it good? is it useful? Whenever I think of guarding my words, these are the questions I think of.