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A little 'thought talk'

Kindness in words creates confidence. 
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. 
Kindness in giving creates love. 
(Lao Tzu)

I will be a little bit transparent here because I think being honest helps us all grow. There are times when the words I want to speak are not the right or best ones to speak. The words that are about to come out of my mouth are just not all that uplifting and they likely will do nothing 'good' if spoken. Been there? There are times the actions I want to take are less than kind. In fact, they border on being rude, ridiculous, or obnoxious. Been at that point? There are moments when I just don't want to give anything else because I feel like I have given enough or have nothing more to give. I bet if you haven't experienced either one of the form ones, you may have experienced that one. We all get to a place at times when 'kindness' is just the foremost thought, action, or attitude that we display. No matter how 'good' we are - we have moments when get a little too catty (slightly malicious and spiteful), or perhaps dwell on something in our minds way too long and for all the wrong reasons. If we live and breathe on this planet earth, with others who live and breathe on this planet earth, we will likely experience these moments together from time to time. It is part of us being human. God asks us to do one thing - watch our talk. Why? Words matter - they build up or tear down; create or destroy; give life or take it away.

Watch your talk! No bad words should be coming from your mouth. Say what is good. Your words should help others grow as Christians. (Ephesians 4:29)

I think I shared this story before, but a wise teacher once told our class that we would all be very surprised what our 'talk' was really like if we'd carry a small tape recorder in our pocket all day recording everything we said. As we would play it back, we might just come to realize how many times we find ourselves talking smack about ourselves or another. It is possible our conversations that day revealed a little bit of insecurity on our part, or that we actually 'worked our words' to undermine something another was doing or saying. Words reveal a great deal about what is in the soul, my friends. That was the purpose of the exercise - to reveal to us what it was that we spent our day 'talking' about. In the end, some of us in that class walked out a little ashamed by how self-focused we were, while others left worried they were being way to hard on someone in their life. The lesson wasn't very 'flattering' to say the least - it revealed something that we may have not known because we rarely 'listen' to our own words!

We are not all going to carry around a pocket recorder to figure out how we are speaking, are we? Yet, there is a lesson in that experiment that pretty much confirmed most of us don't 'watch our talk' very well. We talk without thinking - merely allowing those words to 'get out there' without much forethought as to how they will be received by others hearing them. Our words are supposed to build up, not tear down. Did you ever stop to consider that sarcasm is a means of tearing down someone? Our words are supposed to create an atmosphere rich in all things that contribute to growth and positive development. Did you ever say something cruel or unkind that you know 'stunted' the growth for at least a little while? Words are powerful - that is why God tells us to watch them. It isn't a suggestion - it is a command. We are to watch our talk, but did you ever stop to think that words you don't say may be equally as important as the ones you do say?

Even the words we form in our thoughts are important to 'monitor'. Listen to the wrong words long enough in your own mind and they will begin to 'color' the other words you do speak! We don't learn to speak truth until we recognize a lie when it is spoken. We don't appreciate true words of encouragement until we realize the insincerity of some 'encouraging words'. We might just benefit from taking our 'thought talk' to another level - actually 'talking it out' with God himself. In so doing, we might just find the words we have been thinking aren't all that edifying to ourselves or others. We need God to help us change our thought talk as much as we need him to change or 'temper' our 'outward talk'. Just sayin!

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