Words are the vehicle through which we communicate our thoughts; the tongue is the driver. As such, it takes us to our destiny. Moving in spiritual maturity requires that we learn to speak the right words in the right season and for the right reason.
Do you sometimes offend others because you do not engage your brain before shifting your tongue into drive? Have you ever made a commitment without thinking much about it, only to renege on it later? The communication of the hasty tongue is done too quickly to be thoughtful or wise.
Additionally, because we cannot be totally aware of all the sensitivities of others, people can innocently offend people by words said in jest or by trying to inject humor into a situation. Some people deliberately engage in bringing dissension. Thus, we must realize that everyone has different sensitivity levels.
Have you encountered argumentative people who enjoy directly resisting anyone whose viewpoint is different from their own? They seem to stay on high alert for anything they can discuss that will get someone on the defensive. Being argumentative is a waste of the tongue. Will Rogers once wrote, “People’s minds are changed through observation, not through argument.”
Some people argue because that is what they were taught during their childhood. They simply continue the habit as an adult. Others argue to bolster their own self-worth. The argumentative person does not seek to add value to someone, but rather seeks to feel better about themselves by attacking others opinions, beliefs, and philosophies. Most people minimize or avoid discussions with argumentative types because they find it too stressful to deal with them. To avoid being this kind of person, remember that you can disagree without being mean-spirited or disagreeable. Remember it costs you nothing to respect the other person’s opinion.
Do people feel better about themselves after spending time with you? Or are your expectations so high that you focus on their shortcomings rather than their assets? Make it a habit to affirm your family members and friends. Resist the temptation to constantly “fix” something about them. Accept them as they are; and remember, you only have them for a season.
Reference: 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues.