Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Say Enough, Not Too Much!

Proverbs 10:19-Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

James 3:2- We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

James 4:17- So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

I’ve stopped talking very much. I’ve stopped talking to certain people because in talking to them controlling my tongue was too difficult because of our developed long term habits & style of communicating. See, three years ago God began to deal with me about my tongue in a powerful way. I am called as a mouthpiece for Him but because of not practicing self-control with my tongue, I was just a mouthpiece. I was a fool with my mouth and talked too much (see Proverbs 18:2). I was selfish, arrogant, not a good listener and that didn’t work for Him for my life assignment He’d given me and I had to change.

 Breaking my habit of talking too much has been difficult, excruciating in fact. I love to talk to people and have strong opinions about life and like to be right. Being research and data driven it is hard for me to not speak about what I’ve learned, read and confirmed. God gifted me with creative communication skills and sadly I was using that gift to MY OWN GLORY and God took it back. He confined me, I began to have extreme difficulty communicating at all, and He led people into my life that confronted me about my talking too much and drove people away that I cared about because of my tongue. It didn’t become clear to me that God was breaking my talkativeness until I found a book called “Thirty Days to Control Your Tongue” by Deborah Pegasus (I highly recommend it as a great devotional). Trust that it was not a study I wanted to undertake but was compelled to by the difficult circumstances in my life so I took it on and it changed my heart about my use of my tongue. I began to practice silence---going days and sometimes weeks without sound unless it was absolutely necessary (living alone & being unemployed helped tremendously, I had no one to talk to without making an effort to do so). I began truly listening to people when I was around them (I found out most people talk too much using words profusely with no real grasp on what they’re really hearing or saying or the meaning of their words—that’s my honest opinion). Listening to people now I was not just hearing them so I could say what I wanted to say from my heart I NOW HEARD THEM, completely tuned in to what they were saying. It has been life altering learning to control my tongue and because God’s word is true I proved James 3:2 well and other areas of my life became easier to control too. In fact when something is out of whack in my life I begin first with how I’m using my tongue. It is the impetus for so much in life which is why it is abused so much in the world. Not just talking too much but not saying the right things/evil communication is rampant in society and destroying many of us with our full cooperation.

 I’ve also discovered one of the most difficult areas for me in controlling my tongue is the same as that of many women and that is in relationship with men—it is here that I have to be vigilant and methodical not just in how I talk to a man, but also controlling my emotions and my tendency to want to spill my heart too much/too soon. Most men are not over-communicative; their problem usually lies in not saying the right things/being non-communicative and we women tend to err on the side of talking too much/giving every single detail and recalling every single wrong ad nauseam. Many men are tormented by a contentious woman in their home and women we would do well to read and memorize Proverbs 21:19 (It's better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife) and Proverbs 14:1 (A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands). Here is a truth many men do not want to accept though…if you have an out of control over-communicative woman the greatest burden is yours to let God use you to free her from that and lead her in effective communication. Too many men who tout their leadership in every area waive this one being a peacekeeper instead of a peace maker in order to have silence. Jesus did not say peacekeepers are blessed he said peacemakers are blessed. Sometimes peace comes with confronting something and calling it what it is and enduring the consequences as opposed to stuffing the strife. Men, don’t lack understanding this key fact ---women are naturally wired as receivers and will reproduce after the seed given to them by a man…if you sow non-communication you will reap a woman out of control talking in excess to get you to communicate. Lead her in communicating, listening to her and responding to her in a way that lets her know she’s heard and if a woman is not emotionally unbalanced with deeper issues that will require deeper healing, she will calm down and you will get the silence you crave. In other words, men if the woman in your life talks too much I submit to you that YOU NEED TO TALK TO HER MORE! Try that instead of being mute and moot with her conversation. It will work guaranteed and all it takes is your leadership and listening to reap the fruit of her silence. Worth the investment!  Women, we need male leadership in this area and the good counsel of an older, godly woman to learn to shut our mouths and not drive our men and children away which far too many of us are doing to our detriment. Again, read Proverbs 21:19!

Silence is not only golden it’s crucial if you want to be effective in communication. You can’t listen if your mouth is always in motion. Talking is necessary, just not in excess. Practice saying enough, never too much and let your mouth become a wellspring of life keeping you out of an ocean of trouble. Beloved I’m praying with and for you!

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