Hi gal! Welcome to Dressed for My Day, where on Saturdays we turn our focus from fashion, makeup and fitness to talk about inner beauty. This week I’ve been mulling over the discipline of holding our tongues and choosing our words carefully. Let’s talk about the beauty of a filter.
We live in a world where it is fashionable to speak your mind, but that doesn’t mean that a woman who follows that trend is truly “pretty.” In fact, a woman can actually appear beautiful, alluring, a little mysterious and attractive…until she opens her mouth. Have you ever experienced that?
Our words, our tone of voice, our volume, even the force with which we speak reveal more than our carefully made up faces or the clothes we wear. The outer appearance can be deceptive. But the words we bring to the conversation announce to those around us who we really are at the core, at the heart.
And yet, I’ve met older women who have boldly proclaimed that with age they have earned the right to speak their mind, say whatever they want. I’ve met women of every age who have asserted, “You can count on me to just say what I think. I don’t hold back. And people know that about me. That’s just who I am.”
Do they think this is a good thing? I wonder.
Sometimes these women are Christians, and they speak their minds boldly and without any restraint. But the Bible teaches all of us, men and women alike, to bridle our tongues, to guard our mouths, to measure our words carefully. It also teaches us to speak only that which is kind, encouraging and truly beneficial to the hearer. Our words are supposed to be gracious. And the Bible even goes as far as to tell us to speak softly, gently.
A soft answer turns away wrath,~ Proverbs 15:1-4
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
While I wouldn’t say I’m typically a woman who always feels the need to “speak my mind,” I do struggle with saying the right thing at the right time and holding my tongue in general. Words sometimes slip out before I’ve put enough thought into what I’m saying. And sometimes my emotions get the best of me and I blurt out things I just shouldn’t have said. Can you relate?
What we need is a filter. But how do we “install it?”
- First, I have to humbly admit my need for a filter. No more, “I’m just a woman who speaks her mind!” Instead, I must lay down my pride and realize that, left unchecked, I am prone to say things that just don’t need to be voiced. And I need to agree with God that my words carry weight and have power. My words can wound, tear down, destroy. I need help controlling my tongue.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;~ Psalm 19:13
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
- Next I need to daily ask the Lord to help me think only those things that are pleasing to Him. My words begin in my mind and heart. That’s where the filter has to be secured into place: in the heart and mind. I can use the following scripture in my prayers.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart~Psalm 19:14
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
- Third, I must begin to diligently raise my thinking to higher plains. The base line is truth. I must only think what is true…no speculations, no conjectures, no assumptions…pure truth. From there, I need to raise my thinking to what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praise worthy. That’s a pretty tall order and it provides for a lifelong exercise in discretionary thinking.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.~ Philippians 4:8
- Next, I must make a practice of talking more to God and less to other people. Want to vent? Take it to the Lord and talk all around that thing, sister! I’ve found that when I talk to God about it first, whatever “it” is, I’m less prone to need to sound off to anyone else.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;~ Psalm 17:6
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
- Finally, we simply must practice some self-restraint, a little self-control. Fortunately, we’re not on our own. The Holy Spirit abiding in us gradually produces more and more self-control in us. As we become more sensitive to His leadership and allow Him to lead, we will find ourselves holding back words that just don’t need to be said in the moment. And we’ll know, won’t we, that we’re only able to show such restraint because He has compelled and strengthened us. Yep. It will be a miracle!
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.~ Ephesians 4:29-32
And really that’s the beauty of a filter. A filtered tongue is evidence of a miracle. A woman who practices restraint and and wisdom with her words is a woman in whom the Holy Spirit has done a wonder! She’s a beautiful testimony to the power and grace of God.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.
Have a great weekend!
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