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“In the bible, David was asking God to help him. ‘Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.’”Psalms 141:3 NIV
Here are some questions to consider as we explore how to think before we speak.
- Do you find most people do not care what or how they say something?
- Are the people we encounter daily identified as children of God to you?
- Does our communication with others reflect our Christian values or do we just let words fall out of our mouths to prove a point?
- If you feel there is power in your words, how can you convey these thoughts while respecting others?
- As Christians, we try to pay attention to our actions, but aren’t our words just as important?
Community Initiatives: Speak Your Peace Civility Project
Our communities are asking everyone to consider that you think before you speak. For example; A community project has been started around me named The Waynesville/Saint Robert, MO Speak your Peace Civility Project. The Chamber of Commerce has designated every month of 2023 with themed projects. A year-long program designated to bring awareness to how social media impacts everyone.
According to myozarksonline.com, March’s theme was ‘Speak Kindly’, April’s theme is ‘Be Aware Before You Share’, and May’s theme is ‘Accept and Give Praise’.
These interactive weekly posts on Facebook will include reminders, open discussions, and success stories. The suggestion is that both parents and children become involved.
The Importance of Guarding Our Words
In our communities, I’ve realized there is a definite need to bring people together by positivity through speech, not only during in-person interactions but through social media communications.
No matter how much you try, we have all said things that we wish we could take back. Pausing a moment before speaking will give you the ability to think before you speak.
The world is made of so many different individuals that have so many opposite opinions, life situations, religious views, and beliefs. As Christians, we are taught not to judge. Speaking without thinking can oftentimes come across as judging.
Embracing Diversity: Speaking without Judgment
The book of Matthew directs us as follows:
“Do not judge or you will be judged. For in the same way, you judge others, you will too be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”Matthew 7:1-2 NIV
The issue might not be that most people are indifferent about what or how they say things, but rather that they speak without thinking and fail to consider their audience. Judgmental speech may in fact be a consequence of being careless or reckless.
All our Christian teaching refer to any individual as Children of God, as he made us all.
As far as our communication not reflecting Christian values, are we not all guilty of that from time to time?
There is power in actions and in our words, perhaps that requires us to evaluate both in all situations.
The challenge for us is to reflect on ourselves and pray as David did for help from God, allowing us to think before we speak, and giving God the glory.