Thursday, January 5, 2012

Think Before You Speak

I have a Facebook friend who's going through a rough time with treatment for a brain tumor. Somebody well intentioned offered encouragement but then proceeded to tell her of others they knew whose outcome had been unsuccessful. You'd think simple common sense would prevail to keep these thoughts unspoken, but we've all said stupid things at one time or another.

My pastor once preached a wonderful sermon about controlling your tongue as it relates to gossip, offhand remarks that can hurt others, and our words reflecting what's in our hearts. Just as negative and hurtful things can tear a person down, words of encouragement build people up. He gave us an acronym to remember before we speak:

T = Is what we are going to say true?
H = Is it helpful?
I = Is it inspiring?
N = Is it necessary?
K = Is it kind?

In the Bible, James compares the tongue to a small rudder that steers a great ship. What we choose to say effects us and those around us. Our words steer our lives. What comes out of our mouth can either harm people or build people up. It also shows the world who we are.

"Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." James 3:12

The THINK acronym is easy to remember and even easier to apply. As I like to say, "When in doubt, shut your mouth."

1 comment:

  1. Are you serious? I say many inappropriate things but that's just plain wrong. I love the acronym. The only thing it's missing is laughter.