Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talk, talk, talk

You didn't meant to say it.  It just slipped out.  Everybody knows how it feels when the gossip engine is in full swing, when the camaraderie of shared complaints and put-downs makes you say things you promised yourself not to --- little tidbits you'd been told in confidence, jokes and jabs you toss out for public enjoyment [or to vent frustration] though you'd never speak them right to someone's face.  We all understand.

But knowing that we all understand doesn't make it [good for relationships or our own well-being.]  And working harder to bite your lip next time only provides temporary relief.  "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34) --- so that if we want our words (or our silence) to be [caring, uplifting, positive], we must change our attitudes to match.

So...want to withstand the urge to sling the next insult?  Then try [understanding the unmet needs, hurting places of] the person who irritates you.  Want to never make another idle remark at another's expense?  [Pray for a loving heart, patience, and compassion.  Pray for guidance in seeing what unresolved issues might be behind another's words or actions.  Pray for tolerance.  Pray for the wisdom to identify what are others' issues and what are your own.....and pray for help with your own, for those are the only ones you can change.  Pray for the loving attitude and words to approach people when problems or hurts arise, so that understanding, peace and forgiveness might take root.  Don't bury issues, as that only causes resentment, passive-aggressive behavior and emotional wall-building.  And pray for an open heart and attitude so that others' may approach you, in kind.]

[And after praying for those things has become a constant in your life, pray for the strength not to let others' hurtful words or actions diminish your self-esteem.  Pray for the wisdom of discerning who is growing by personal insight and/or prayer and resolve to keep company with those people, instead of surrounding yourself with people who are negative, defensive, or closed to real intimacy.  Be accepting of and kind to the latter, but inspired and supported by the former.]

(from The One Minute Bible, edited with my words in brackets)

No comments: