Wise women: Learning to control my tongue
Do all things without complaining and disputing (Philippians 2:14)
“I remember meeting a young woman in one of my business seminars who I discovered was a Christian. We began to share a little about ourselves. She told me about her job and her church, but what I heard was a stream of complaining and condemnation.” (source)
There is nothing worse than meeting up with someone and all you hear is complaining. Sometimes it is about how they hate their job and wish they could retire, of problems with their marriage, the kids are playing up or how they are dreading the holidays because the children will be at home and what a mess they make and how demanding they are. I have worked with women like this, they never have a positive word to say about anyone — you walk away feeling down and depressed. They suck the joy out of you with their misery. But it is even worse when it is a Christian woman behaving in this manner. What is the message they are sending out to other Christians and more importantly to non Christians.
As she walked away, I just shook my head. "What’s wrong with this picture?" I said to the Lord. I felt depressed and kept thinking about all the people in her life who don’t know Jesus and wondering what kind of testimony she was to them. I could imagine that with that kind of tongue, she could do the cause of Christ some damage. Who would want to be a Christian if there was no joy, no praise, nothing to be thankful for? (source)
How we speak in public is a reflection of our Christian faith. If we walk around joyless and always finding fault in others, we are not a very good testament to our faith. Christian women should be joyfully even when suffering (we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4) which I know is very hard at times but doable. I know, I’ve been there and one can continue to smile and be pleasant and kind to others as long as you put your hope in the Lord. Just because you are having difficulties doesn't mean you can dump it one others and have a good whinge. This is unfair to the one listening and it just pulls you down too.
We all grumble, its true, life isn’t easy for all and at times we need to let off steam — this is why having a close Christian friend is so important — someone you can completely trust, who will listen and support and not judge. Encourage, give ideas and pray for you. They know your story and you know theirs, it is safe environment to talk about problems in a constructive manner. These are the conversations you don't have in public or with your work mates, or ladies at bible study or even at church. You don't want to be known as the woman that always complains about her family and her work etc..
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
However in our general every-day interactions we open our mouths with kindness, words of encouragement and gentleness. We need to think before we speak and never speak in anger or frustration. If this is hard to do:
I suggested that you choose one area where you know your tongue is out of control and work on that. You can do this through God’s Word and prayer and daily commitment, until you see the Spirit of God changing you. The areas to consider working on are criticizing, lecturing, arguing, complaining, and talking too much. Remember, too many words will eventually get you in trouble. Proverbs 10:19 says, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (source)
Here are some very good reasons to tame our tongues: (source)
* You will get rid of a lot of stress. When our tongues are out of control, we bring a lot of stress into our lives. Having to listen to ourselves talk all the time is stressful, and when we say the wrong words, we feed the wrong messages into our minds and bring more stress on ourselves.
* You will get rid of self-focus in your life. I tell you the truth, I’ve never known a self-focused person who was happy. When you get the focus off of yourself, you’re going to be a much happier person. So, when you stop talking about your problems and complaining about them, you’ll stop thinking about them so much and you’ll think of others. That’s going to make you happier
* Your relationships will greatly improve as you tame your tongue. Just think of the damage you’ve done to relationships when your tongue was out of control. Now, you’ll be saying words of encouragement and love, and those relationships will blossom.
You will improve your performance. When you say the right words, it will greatly influence whatever job you have and how well you do it. That could result in all kinds of good things for you.
* But most importantly, when your tongue is tamed, you’ll be more like Jesus, transformed more and more into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, as we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18. And that means your life will bring glory to him, your testimony will be stronger, people will want to know what makes you different, they’ll be attracted to you and you will be a good ambassador for Jesus.
* If we control our tongues, we control our whole body. James told us that and it’s true. It takes commitment, prayer and the power of God’s Spirit, but it is not mission impossible. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.