Listening Is the Key to Speaking

Western Theological Seminary Students

READ : Mark 7:17-23

Have you ever said something you wished you hadn’t? Do your words ever get you in trouble? I often forget to think before I open my mouth. When the words come out they are mean, hurtful or just plain out-of-place. Then I sit and wish that I had not opened my mouth at all. I have hurt friends and family. I have gotten myself into big trouble.

Jesus knew this about us. He says what we put into our mouths is not unclean but what we allow to come out. Words can do more damage than fists. Jesus was well aware of this. We have the power to build people up and tear them down with only a word or two. We are told to be careful and think before speaking. Learning to listen to others and carefully reviewing the words you want to say in response can prevent a lot of pain for you and people around you.

We seem to avoid thinking first and speaking second. God knows the power of our words. We are called to speak gently. I wonder what the world would be like if we took this advice to heart. I wonder how my life and your life would change if we learned to weigh our words and speak in love without anger and sarcasm.

– Edie Lenz

PRAYER

Search our hearts and clean up our minds, Lord. We want to speak in ways that honor you and make peace.