Our Mouths & Our Words

21 Comments

I have been thinking on conversations and the words we speak to one another when I remembered this post I had written a while back. Slightly edited, here it is ….

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Words.

We all use them every day. It has been estimated that a woman uses, on the average, about 7,000 words a day while a man uses about 2,000. The question that hits me today is:

“What will I do with today’s budget of words?”

We need words in order to communicate with one another. Dictionary.com defines “communicate” as:

  1. to give or interchange thoughts, feelings, information, or the like, by writing, speaking, etc.
  2. to express thoughts, feelings, or information easily or effectively.

Expressing ourselves is vital to our connection with and to one another. Yet the words we choose are critical to the health of that communication.

Words spoken with a wrong voice inflection can change the course of an entire conversation. We say something without thinking and it comes out all wrong. Perhaps it was meant jokingly but does not quite come out as humorous as we hoped. At times, we may not communicate clearly and we are left to wonder what went wrong. But in a second, everything changes.

With that being said, (yes, pun was intended), how are we to choose our words?

David, in Psalm 39:1 offers us some advice:

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth.”

Probably not the advice that we want to hear. Surely not the fashion statement we want to make :)  And it doesn’t get any easier in other versions:

  • “I will keep my mouth with a bridle”  (ASV)
  • “I promised to keep my mouth shut” (CEB)
  • “I will hold my tongue” (NLT)

Any way that you slice it, David had learned the valuable lesson of using his words, and using them wisely. This is truly the challenge ever before us. Anyone that knows me, knows that I enjoy talking with people. My nickname growing up was “Chatty Cathy”, named after the talking doll which was once popular. So to remain silent for the rest of my life is not going to happen. There must be an alternative to the “muzzle”.

Again, David offers us advice in the form of a prayer:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 HCSB). 

David knew, he knew, that left to himself his words could wreak havoc. So he did the only thing he knew would change that – he prayed about the words that he would speak.

Only the Word of God applied by the Spirit of God could make his mouth and heart so pleasing before God’s all-knowing gaze.
(Holman Old Testament Commentary, Psalms, Volume 11 – page 101).

And the same is true for us today.

Today I am linking with … Thought Provoking Thurs. and Tell His Story and Winsome Wed. and Time Travel Thurs. and Thurs. Favorite Things and Thriving Thurs. and Thankful Thurs. and Thrive At Home and Cozy Reading Spot and New Every Morning .

21 thoughts on “Our Mouths & Our Words

  1. I had never heard the CEB version of Psalm 39:1 – “I promised to keep my mouth shut.” I love that….and need God’s help to do it more often! ;)

    • I loved looking at this verse in other versions. Very eye opening. It is only with His help we are able to keep quiet when we should & speak as He leads. So glad you stopped here!

  2. I never knew Chatty Cathy was a doll! Thought it was just an expression…I know what you mean about words – sometimes when talking with other believers I get misunderstood and seem to say wrong things and at those times I wonder if the devil is involved, you know trying to set us against each other.

    I’m not talkative but holding my tongue is still hard sometimes. I’ve learned (the hard way) to say nothing when I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. I must say I’ve never regretted holding my tongue but many times regretted letting it wag!

    New Linkup: http://lauraconnell.com/jesus-take-the-wheel-linkup/

    • Laura – I have never seen one as it was an old doll even when I was little. My uncle used to refer to me with that nickname. You make a good point to think on. I am sure there are many times we give the enemy ammunition to work with. He likes nothing better than to divide & separate. May we be onto his schemes!

    • Lisa, your comment brought this to mind. I remember dieting & having to count points. It truly stunk when I hit my allocated number & could not have anything more. Made me realize the importance of spreading it out over the course of the day. We would truly be so much wiser with our words & perhaps not spout off as much :) So glad you shared!

  3. I love the idea of a word budget! In a way as bloggers, we do have a budget. For instance, I post 3 times a week, usually about 500 words a post. I have 1500 words a week to encourage, inspire and support. Am I using them to glorify God or myself? Oh man…. lots to think about! Thanks for sharing this great post. Lots to think about.

    • Kelsey – so true that we have a budget as we post. I love that perspective on our words. May we use those words wisely as we write. I am so glad you shared your thoughts on words with me! You surely have me thinking even more now. Have a blessed Sunday!

  4. Joanne, this is very powerful post. You are so right…the words alone are one thing but the tone along with them, can sometimes add more pain and hurt. I am often guilty of speaking too freely or not taking the time to choose my words correctly. Thank you for this reminder. I also love how the different versions say the same thing with little different flavor. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Debby – yes, tone is also such a part of what we convey. And facial expressions. Much to think about. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. May God help us in the days ahead with our words. Blessings!

  5. Well put, and our words are so powerful… it is such a challenge for me to remember to watch my tongue, and my typing for that matter, because words do matter. Thanks for sharing with the Cozy Reading Spot

    • How true that our typing falls under this as well. May we watch our words in whatever format we are sharing them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me as well. Blessings!

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