In the advent season I began writing Healing the Soul, and I wrote a section called Sins of the Tongue. I did this study to prepare for Lent. Ash Wednesday is March 6th. I am going to use this post to prepare for Lent. I am not going to get discouraged when I fail. I have the rest of my life to change my bad habits. I know that I need continue and not give up. Silence is golden. Knowing when to talk and when to stop talking. I also wrote on silence this year. My message to others is my message to myself.
The Power of Words
A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smith and kill.
A gracious word may smoothe the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and blessauthor Unknown
Sins with the TONGUE
Did I engage in any form of Lying?
” My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.”
Did I flatter someone?
“I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my maker would soon take me away
Did I manipulate someone for my gain or advantage?
Then Delilah pouted, “How can you say you love me when you don’t confide in me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong.”
Did I speak too hastily?
Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool that for him.
Did my words cause division
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
Was I argumentative or Contentious?
Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor, only fools insist on quarreling
Did boast or speak with pride?
Let another praise you not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
Did I engage in self putdown?
Moses said to the Lord, “:O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Did I slander someone?
whatever things that are true, noble, just , pure, lovely, and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy about someone, I comment only on these things.
Did I gossip?
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels they go down to a mans inmost parts.
Did I meddle in anybodys affairs?
2 Thessalonians 3:11
Some of you are living idle lives refusing to work wasting time meddling in other peoples business.
Did I betray someones trust?
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
Did I belittle someone?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Was I cynical, scornful , or sarcastic?
1 Samuel 17 28-29
Now Eliah his oldest brother heard when spoke to the men; and Eliahs anger burned against David and he said
“Why have you come down? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” But David said
“What have I done now?”
Did I speak as a Know-It-All?
A prudent man conceals knowledge.
Did I use harsh abusive words?
Proverbs 15: 1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Did I fail to speak with tact or diplomacy?
Let your conversations be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.
Did I attempt to intimidate with my words?
1 Samuel 17:44
The philistine said to David. “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.
Was I rude?
There will be a highway called the Holy road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on the road. Its for Gods people exclusively.
Was I critical or judgmental?
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.
Was I self absorbed in my conversations?
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Did I use profanity?
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Did I complain?
I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplications with my voice to the lord I pour out my complint before him; I declare my trouble before Him.
Did I retaliate?
1 Peter 3:9
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.
Did I accuse someone?
The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
Was I discouraging?
When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them.
Did I express doubt and unbelief?
For assuredly, I say to you whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the seal.” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Did I talk too much?
When words are many, sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Was I discreet in my discussions?
Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you.
Did I keep silent when I should have communicated?
There is a time for every activity under heaven…. a time to be silent and a time to speak.
I don’t know about you but I did not do well with this list. I am overwhelmed with my tongue control. I need self control. I need self-compassion right now, if I am able to be successful in changing my bad habits with my tongue. I think that making a gratitude list will be helpful in reminding myself of my many blessings.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…
It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit…
Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
C. S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory