T.H.I.N.K Before You Talk!
Wednesday, October, 22, 2014 | 3:00 PM | by asmith
"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such words as are good for edification that it may give grace to those who hear." (Ephesians 4:29)
We have all been guilty of blurting out statements that are hurtful and harmful instead of helpful and healing. On many occasions I have wished that I could have deleted the acidic comment that popped out of my mouth but it was too late because the damage was done by my verbal dart. Words are like arrows shot from a bow-once released, you cannot recall them.
God's Word provides timeless and timely advice about our verbal communication. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that "life and death is in the power of your words." According to the Book of James, your speech is equivalent to fire; which means that your words can warm up a friendship with encouragement or burn up someone's reputation with gossip.
Let me share with you an acrostic that may help in preventing you from damaging others, ruining your witness and rupturing your relationships by poorly using the fire power of your words. Before you engage your mouth, be sure you T.H.I.N.K.
T stands for truth. Before you criticize or pass on some juicy information, be sure that you have the facts correct. In the world of carpentry, the mantra is "measure twice and cut once." Be sure your information and measurement is accurate.
H stands for helpful. God's Word admonishes us to "speak the truth in love." (Ephesians 4:15) You can be harsh and hurtful with truth as you wield it like a damaging club. So develop positive and helpful communication patterns that create connecting bridges instead of destructive barriers.
I stands for inspiring. Everyone craves the inspiration of affirmation and encouragement. Seek to use the stewardship of your communication to lift up people and point them toward the Lord, His love and His redeeming power.
N stands for necessary. It is easy to focus on a person's shortcomings and mistakes. Sometimes we magnify another person's flaws because it makes us look better. Ask yourself if this communicated observation is necessary and will it bring improvement.
K stands for kindness. Kindness costs so little but the benefits can be priceless. Remove the sandpaper of sarcasm and slander from your tongue. Delete the acid and replace it with the velvet touch of humility, gentleness and kindness.
Remember, loose lips sink ships. Before you fire off the arrows of your next communication, take a moment to prayerfully measure your words and T.H.I.N.K.!