I would love to be able to say that there are never times when my mouth moves faster than my brain. That there are never times when I have regretted saying something. Or times when things I have said have hurt those I love, especially my husband. Our words have power. They have the power to build people up and to tear people down, especially those closest to us. As we all grow in wanting to be more Christ-like and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, having control over our words or taming the tongue is so important. This is an area of my life that is always a work in progress for me. Yet I have found three tips over the years that have really helped me to better tame my tongue.
Tip #1 for Taming the Tongue: Is It True?
Truth is something that can be tested and that you can always stand behind. This is something that I am always reminding my girls of.
No one ever wants to be exposed in any way, so making sure the words we speak are true is so important.
Tip #2 for Taming the Tongue: Is It Kind?
How you say something is often just as important as what you say. You can say the same thing two different ways and the person you are speaking to will hear two different things just because of the way you said it. While also knowing that everything we say is not always what the other person wants to hear, but being mindful that we have to speak truth in love.
Now this one has taken me a little while to grasp, and I struggle from time to time, because I am a person that likes the facts without the fillers. So often when I am talking I can be very direct and it can come across as unkind. So embracing that taming the tongue is not always about saying less, but being mindful of how what we say will be received is key.
Tip #3 for Taming the Tongue: Is It Necessary?
Now, this is the biggest one for me. I like to talk and prove my point, so more often than not I end up saying more than necessary. I know I am not alone in this. As women, we are rarely ever at a loss for words. Yet, learning that just because what we want to say is true and kind does not mean it is necessary.
If what we are saying is not helping or truly benefiting the conversation it may be better left unsaid. This is a big one when having a disagreement with someone, especially our husbands.
Over the years, the number of arguments my husband, Eric, and I have greatly decreased with a lot it being attributed to me continuously working on taming my tongue. Yet when we do argue it can easily go from zero to sixty because I often like to add unnecessary “facts” to the argument. Such as past actions or disagreements. These things may be true, but they are not needed in the conversation we are currently having.
Taming the tongue is definitely not easy. It takes being mindful of words and the power they have. Speaking only what is true, kind, and necessary. While always prayerfully seeking God to not just give us the words to say, but the wisdom and discernment to know what not to say.
I’d love to hear tips you have used to tame your tongue in the comments!