I have a problem…….my tongue!!
You would think that after 38 years I would have this problem licked but NO!!!
Lately it seems like I say something and realise that the person or people on the receiving end have not understood me or have perceived my message in the opposite way it was intended. This of course results in people being hurt by my words. I really don’t mean it. I have only good intentions but goodness I seem to be offending people left right and centre.
I know that at times I fly by the seat of my pants and say the first thing which pops into my head and that is not always the best or right thing. The objective of my words during a recent incident was to show concern for one of my team members. I was concerned that she was taking on too much and needed to pace herself. It turns out that the message my words delivered to her was that I thought she could not handle things and was not good enough. I still stand in awe of this because her interpretation and my meaning are so far removed from each other I may as well have been speaking another language.
I suppose it is true what they say ….”Choose your words carefully. They may come back to destroy you.”
This afternoon I was telling a colleague (and friend) about my tongue problem and she said that her mom always told her to think twice before she spoke that way you should have control over your words. That seems to be very good advice. She also then quoted this scripture……
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievious words stir up anger" Proverbs 15:1.
Do I offer a soft answer when faced with wrath, heck no I add my own dose of angry words to the pot and that solves nothing. In fact situations become more unmanageable and unsaveable (new word) when angry words are spoken. But words also carry different meanings depending on the attitude with which they are delivered. What’s that old saying about It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it. A colleague recently told me that I change gears faster than others so I have moved on from one topic of conversation to the next while others are still catching up. This results in me “losing” the person and I get frustrated and my tone changes to a harsh, unfriendly irritated one. This of course leads to the other person getting defensive and the conversation turns to a pile of crap!!!
I believe that my problem is twofold:
I don’t think before I speak
I don’t think about how I speak the words
The combination lands me in hot water and to be honest I am very uncomfortable in hot water.
So on CHOOSEday I CHOOSE to bridle my tongue, I CHOOSE to pray for God to place a guard at my mouth, I CHOOSE to think before I speak, I CHOOSE to ask myself is it necessary, is it true, is it kind and will it hurt someone before I speak and I CHOOSE to give a soft answer.