‘Open mouth insert foot’ is the prescription I have heard for saying the wrong thing.  Or your ‘mouth is in gear before engaging the brain’.   There are more quotes about words spilling out of our mouths with lack of harmful intent and yet they are still out there once they have been spoken.

I did that yesterday and felt horrible the minute I said them.  The horrible feeling was one of wanting to run away and hide.  I wanted to immediately wash my mouth out with soap.  I certainly wanted and have asked forgiveness from the person I hurt.  Words cannot be rewound like in a video.

I had this happen to me a few years ago.  I was out to lunch (no literally) and one of my companions made an off the cuff remark about me that was like a slap in the face.  Immediately the other two ladies stopped eating and a hush fell over the table.  Ultimately someone spoke to break the tension as we enjoyed the rest of our meal.

I was quite hurt by the comment long after that lunch.  After much thought I gathered my courage and wrote a note to my friend explaining my hurt feelings as well as suggesting that sometimes we need to think before we speak.  I received a lovely note back and an apology with some explanations and it actually bolstered our friendship I believe.  A leap of faith repaid with generosity is a gift.

After I made the comment yesterday I wondered if it had to do more with my age than anything else.  I do find that the filters I had years ago seem to be disintegrating.  Is this what happens as we age.  I took a minute to think back to my great aunts and grandmother and I have come to believe that this is real.  Is it that as we age we become careless?  Does this mean we care less?

I hope not.  Each time I fail I look to it as a lesson learned.  This one I am taking to heart.  I do not ever want to hurt anyone so will have to engage my brain more often now before I open my mouth.  At least be aware that I need to do this when I am speaking.  It is my hope that awareness will lead to less carelessness.  The unsaid word can do no harm!

Ever a work in progress……….






After my rant of yesterday I was reminded of the above title quote.  My immediate response was that of course it was correct.  The other side of it is that the unspoken word does not fix anything either.  If there is something wrong then must we not speak up?  Are we not called to do so in fact?  I have written about all this before.  Speak up.  Remain silent.  How do you know which is the best in any given situation?

Yesterday, after I posted my blog I did my daily Scripture reading.  It was very interesting in light of the negativity I heard the day before.  The reading was from Luke.

Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

My immediate response was to marvel at how closely this scripture came to the situation I was in on Sunday.  The person being so negative was putting that forth and it evidently was swirling right back to them.  This is not a new idea.  “Do unto others as you want done unto you” is also in that same book Luke 6:31.

Am I being called to speak these words of wisdom to Mr. Negativity?  If so the call is really clear that I must be kind and forgiving when doing so.

Another response I had when I read this was reinforcement that a spoken word can do good if it is the right word or done the right way.  We are called in John 13:34-35 to “Love One Another”.  In the same book in Matthew 5:43-48 and Romans 12:14 we are told to love those that persecute you.   I had not expected an answer so quickly and yet there it was in the scripture.  I was made aware of why the person could not see good.  He was not putting forth any good words to come back to him.  I also understood quickly how, if I was to respond, I was to do so kindly with well chosen positive forgiving words.

The other response I meditated upon after I read this scripture was to question why anyone would even question the relevance of the Bible today.  If the Bible becomes unspoken words so to do no harm how is it going to help?   We must speak the words we hear in the Scripture.  This is a living book.  The words need to be read, meditated upon, shared and definitely spoken.

I was amazed.  I look to my faith for answers in my life.  I believe God has a plan for me and gave me a book with any answer I might need.  All I have to do is read it.  The answer may not come in words as clearly as it did yesterday.  I may have to read for days or weeks or even years depending upon what I am asking.  The toughest thing for me is to understand that if the words I want to hear are not spoken to me then that too can be an answer.  It might be “Not yet.”  “Not at all.” I may hear a continual “No.”  That is an answer as well.

I believe no word in that book is void.  They are filled with answers and more questions and understanding when we read, meditate and speak them.  In the old testament in Isaiah 55:11 we are told, “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

The conclusion I take from all of this is when God speaks to me through this book He will get what He wants for me.  I hear that when we speak we must do so carefully.  Negativity as I have read in this Book brings negativity.  It was indeed what I was experiencing as the words were being spewed forth a couple of days ago.  Looking for the positive in my life I am called to give positive messages.  When I do this good will come back.  Seems fairly simple.  Unspoken words do no harm is wise and true.  When words are spoken they must be done so carefully.  Lesson learned!