Have you ever said "too much"? Wishing you could stuff all the words that just fell out of your mouth right back into it and then climb into a hole? Yeah. Me too.
There are times when I've watched my children's faces fall as words I've carelessly slung in their direction, stung.
There are times when I've fired an arrow of criticism over the bow of my husband's heart and watched it ignite a firestorm of my own doing.
Have you ever said "not enough"? Recalling those times when I've said nothing at all—to my children, to my husband, to my friends— where a simple well-placed word of encouragement or purposeful conversation would have been so helpful. Yeah. Me too.
There are times when I've seen my children do something incredible yet I've downplayed discussing its importance for fear of being "that mom" who thinks their child is the best at everything.
There are times when I've had a heart of gratitude for my husband, and thought it, but never opened my mouth to point those words in his direction.
Shesh. I'm a work in progress for sure.
We all struggle with our tongues. In the book of James (Chapters 3-5, specifically - go read that, I'll wait....), he gives us much instruction about taming the tongue and how to use it, and how to be careful not to.
James 3:9-10 (The Voice)
"Ironically, this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God's own image. One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be."
✨ I'm not blessing my children or husband or friends by being careless with my commentary. And, at the same time, while I'm not standing around actually cursing my children or husband or friends, I'm also not blessing them if I'm keeping all of the good that I think about them to myself.
Luke 6:45 (NLT)
"A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart."
So, if James and Luke are right—and they are—not only do we have a tongue problem, we have a heart problem.
So how do we work on storing up the right things in the treasury of our hearts so that our mouths overflow with what's inside (and then tell our brains to tell our tongues to say it out loud)?
The Pause. This is the tool.
James also encourages us to be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry"(1:19). ((Notice what is first... LISTEN.))
The only way we can be available to the Lord's heart and learn what is in His is to pause and listen to His voice. His voice will then fill our ears and minds and thoughts and imagination with His thoughts... and drown out our own. Those thoughts that would want to say too much, and those that want to say too little. The more time we spend with Him, the more His thoughts fill up the treasury of our hearts and then, the more those words that spill out will be more like His. His ways are perfect, His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8) and if we pause long enough to get His perspective, He will help us to change the way we think and therefore speak, as we pour out the right kind of words at the right time.
✨ How We Wait Today:
A very wise friend of mine is known to say, "See it, say it". If you see something great that someone is doing - say it OUT LOUD to them! Do you like their shirt? Say it. Do you see them working hard and completing a job well done? Say it. Are you blessed by something they've done? Say it. If you're not sure how to encourage someone - pause. Ask the Lord, what would be an encouragement to them at this moment - and He will begin to show you things about people and their situation that not only will bless and encourage them, but bless and encourage you as you slow down to hear His voice and let His thoughts fill the treasury of your heart.
((Want to read more from Tara and more about hearing God in everyday moments? Pick up your copy of Waiting On Wonders, 40-Days of Wonder Devotional at Amazon or get a signed, jacketed hardback special edition copy HERE)) ✨