I’ve been blogging about marriage lately. This blog will relate to marriage partners and anyone else who chooses to communicate.
Reading the NKJV Bible entitled Jesus Calling Devotional Bible today, I read the Self-Control entry on page 921, copyrighted in 2011 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The devotionals have three verses suggested on the bottom of the page. I didn’t expect the piece to be on controlling one’s tongue.
My favorite verse was James 1:19, “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”
Yesterday, I spoke to my son on the phone and I noticed I interrupted him but he kept talking. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t chime in on the subject, I’ll forget what I had to say. It’s not a good excuse for being impolite, but that’s what I concluded when I thought about it.
Anyway, he kept talking, and then I started to call his name to tell him I couldn’t hear him. He didn’t seem to hear me, so I pressed a button on my husband’s cell which I’m not familiar with. It was a picture of a phone with a plus sign, so I figured it makes the volume go up. Wrong. It may have caused the phone to mute.
If we had a split screen with him on one side, me on the other, he’d be talking away and I’d be raising my voice so he could hear me over his conversation, and it might look comical. Then I start asking my husband how do you turn up the sound on this thing and my son is saying, “Can you hear me, are you there?”
He hung up and my husband fixed the phone and we started over again and then I apologized for interrupting him.
I have a relative I haven’t spent a ton of time with over the last few years and when we got together she was talking to me and I’d add my two cents (as my mom used to say), and finally she looked at me and said, “Would you please just listen to me?”
I was so embarrassed. She was very polite about it and then I clammed up and listened with no comments until she got quiet and then I responded to her comments.
Today, I decided to memorize that Scripture. So, I’m repeating “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;” James 1:19.
I’m aware that words are very important. I try to remember to pray that I’ll say the right things and keep quiet if I’m about to say something I’ll regret or that others will regret hearing. Today, after reading the devotional, I prayed that I’d say only the things I should say when I see my hairdresser. If I forget to pray that before I see her, I prayed that prayer would be set up for all time. I’m not sure what God thinks about that. I know I’ve moved places and realized that twenty or thirty years prior, I’d be thinking I wanted to live in a certain location. Then after moving there, I’d remember really wanting to live there.
If there are times you’ve suffered from communicating in a way that caused problems, as I have, unfortunately, with my spouse and children especially, I found that asking their forgiveness and saying sorry helped a lot. Then, I tried to refrain from the same behavior. Trying to make amends without having any intention of changing is a total waste of breath. After a while, the person can rightly say, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Whoever said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” lived in a delusional world. We can choose to forgive words that hurt us and only remember it enough to avoid being the target in the future if at all possible, if we want. We can forgive and keep away forever if possible, as well.
I’m still learning about speech and about choosing quiet. The book of James is a big help to me, too.