Friday, January 27, 2012

You Talk Too Much, You Never Shut UP!

Sorry, bad title? I just couldn't help it. The Run D.M.C. classic pops to mind to easily.
This might surprise some of you, but I used to have a serious syndrome. I think we all do it, I just did it more frequently than others. No guesses? (Okay, okay. "Footinmouth Syndrome", I feel like if it say it fast it won't hurt as badly.)
Sweater: J Crew Jackie Cardigan
T-Shirt: J Crew Outlet
Skirt: J Crew No. 2 Pencil (in Viridian Green)
Tights: Anthropologie
Boots: DSW, Ciao Bella

I used to be characterized by this terrible disease. Looking back, I realize that every time I opened my mouth, it was to bad-mouth or criticize others around me. Strangers and friends alike. This is a hard thing to admit, and I am not about to psychoanalyze why I did it. The fact is, I did.
But the Lord started working on my heart. I started to see things from another perspective- the perspective of the person on the other end.  We have all experienced a "mean girl", that feeling when you know you are the target of an attack. I decided I never wanted to make anyone feel that way again, if I could help it.
The dilemma? I am honest to a fault. It is a blessing and a curse. I seem to have missed out on the diplomacy gene.  I do fine until someone asks my opinion (I generally stay safe if no one asks), but when confronted, I tend to apologize and work hard to find the good in the scenario to make the negative not sound so bad.

My dad said something like this a long time ago, and I never forgot it.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." -Abraham Lincoln (attributed to Socrates)
And recently, I read these verses.
"Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent." -Proverbs 17:28

Ouch! Does this step on your toes as much as it does mine? Well, good. Then I am not alone in this life-long journey to be a better person as a result of my relationship with Christ.  If I want others to see Jesus in me, are my actions matching up?  The Word also says, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." What are you filling your heart with?

Use your voice to be a source of encouragement to others.  Start with something simple, like complimenting someone on their appearance, or a job well done. Then move on to things like cards or letters. Everyone LOVES to get mail!
What can you do to encourage a friend today?

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