Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help me to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. These things, my brothers, should not be this way [for we have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts].
James 3:8-10 AMP
We all come with different views and opinions. Yet, its so important as Christians to not let those views and opinions rub someone else the wrong way, hurt their feelings or to belittle them.
We have so much power in our tongues. That means we need to learn how to have self-control or the patience to be understanding and kind with others.
It is quite difficult to control the tongue in situations where you are passionate or feel that you have to defend yourself or your views.
I can relate. For example, both of my parents are Jamaicans. This culture can be labelled as loud or harsh at times. But this can also be perceived as a strong personality or tough love. Accepting your cultural, political or religious views without reflecting on how it affect others doesn’t allow for understanding.
When we ignore how others feel we begin to think selfishly about ourselves only. We cannot see how the words are wrong and we can instead feel attacked and lash out. We take things personal. But, it’s not very personal at all because how someone else feels is truly about them not me. Some words can act as a trigger for others and cut deeper than the surface. We may not intend this but its the reality of our differences.
Making an effort to reflect makes a huge difference. Christ-like character includes grace and humility. We should find the time to pause, reflect on our words, apologise and pray for forgiveness (even so when an apology may be impossible).
Reflection on the tongue doesn’t always happen immediately either. It can be after a few hours or the next day. After this, you should feel convicted and able to understand how you were slow to hear, quick to speak and quick to anger.
Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to reminds us of our actions and guide us to have a gentle tongue when talking to or speaking about others.