Before I speak—I will ask myself these questions...

on April 18, 2023

Maybe it’s in conversation with a friend at carpool drop off when the opportunity to gossip presents itself.
Maybe it’s amidst coworkers as we navigate the happenings of our work environment and what is ours to say.
Maybe it’s in a text message thread with family where offense strikes and we want to make it known.
Maybe it’s with our spouse where we want to make sure they’re aware of just how we feel and to make them feel that way back.
Maybe it’s in our own heads as we use the shame stick about how we coulda, shoulda, woulda done this or that.
Whatever it is, wherever it is, and whomever it involves, our language is one of the most powerful tools we have.

We often undermine its effectiveness, thinking that it’s just words, thrown emptily into the air and slowly drifting away.
But what we don’t see is that our words are either our nourishment to run fully towards who God has called us to be or the starvation to our soul that it needs to walk out our God-given identity.
They are the rudder—determining what direction we travel and how long it takes us to get to our destination.

But if we can practice self-discipline and ask ourselves these questions, we help our mouths, minds, and hearts walk with the spirit:
1. Does it reflect the truth that we know in His Word? The Word of God IS the standard—it’s not a set of suggestions. If it doesn’t, there’s our answer. We don’t get to decide whether His parameters + provision qualify as worthy protection.

2. Does it help the ears that hear it? Including our own? What is the motivation behind us saying it—to get even or to grow Heaven? To offend or to help? If it doesn’t benefit those hearing it in the moment + place we say it, then it’s not ours to say, at least right now. Maturity recognizes that it is not our job to have the revelation for another.

3. Does it bring PEACE? Like, real, true, Heavenly peace? This doesn’t mean it must be absent of confrontation or hard things—they’re often present. However, if our goal is anything but reflecting the love, gentleness, and inclusivity of Jesus, then we need to shut it down.

May we build, not break.
Our words are weapons—may we always use them for good.

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