How many times have you asked yourself: “Why did I say that?” Or, maybe you asked: “How could I say that?”
Nothing seems to be as easy as saying something dumb.
None of us wants to misspeak or say things we shouldn’t. What can we do to minimize our unwise words?
Here are five practical steps to take for wise speech.
First, spend time each day with God in prayer. I believe the best use of my time is to spend the first hour of the day with God. I want to accomplish three things. I want to spend time with God, pray about my day, and meditate on God’s Word. Part of my prayer time is to think about my day and all of the possible situations I will encounter and ask God to guide me through the day.
Spending time with God gives me confidence for the day. It is indispensable for wise speech.
Second, determine to speak the truth in every situation. Speaking the truth will solve a lot of your problems with wise speech. Speaking the truth solves most issues with needed apologies and correcting wrong impressions.
If you determine in advance to the speak the truth, you will be a long way down the road toward wise speech.
If you would like to read another article about speech, you can find one here: http://waylonbailey.com/2015/02/11/brian-williams-and-speaking-the-truth/
Third, practice what you are going to say. I almost always try to think through how and what I will speak. Almost all of my conversations are serious in nature. I may be counseling someone or helping them with their marriage. These are difficult conversations. I want to think and pray before those conversations. Practicing in advance will help you with what you say and how you say it.
Fourth, limit how much you talk. Let’s face it: we often get ourselves in trouble by talking too much. We need wise, judicial, and thoughtful speech. We need speech that pleases God. We need to be quick to hear and slow to speak.
You simply don’t have to say everything you think. If you question the wisdom of saying something, you probably already know you shouldn’t.
Fifth, remember the power of speech. The words we speak are powerful. They have the potential for great good and great harm. We need to consider the power of our words.
James wrote to the early church. The power of words was one of his main topics. He compared frivolous and unholy speech to a wildfire and a powerful horse. None of the things he talked about compared to the power of the tongue.
Ask God to guide you as you think about others and what you will say.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:1).
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