Saturday, March 2, 2013

What to Say When You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say

Today was a down day... a down in the dumps day... I didn't feel like being nice. I didn't want to speak kind words. I just wanted to be left alone... but I'm Mom, and I don't get that luxury.

"Mommy!! She hit me!!!"

"She hit me first!!!"

"Because she was playing in the toilet again!!"


"Uh-huh! LIAR!!!"


This had been going on all day long. I would nip it in the bud, take care of the problems and the problem behaviors (I thought), and go back to my housework only to have to repeat the cycle minutes later. Being 30 weeks pregnant and sick, I already felt like a seething teapot, and this was added to the mix. I felt like busting out with an explosive, "SHUUUUT UUUUP!!!!!" I wanted to just knock their heads together tell them how wrong they were and send them bed for the rest of the day... or to Grandma's. Instead, I felt that convicting touch of the Holy Spirit. I heard His still, small voice whispering in my  heart, reminding me to be kind and compassionate, to be tender and affectionate, and to show the great love of the Lord. So... I took a deep breath and handled the situation (for the umpteenth time) the way God said to... with love.

I often fail in this area. I often let my tongue get in the way. I often say things I regret, things I wish I hadn't. We all have...

So... What DO you say when you don't have anything nice to say?

That old adage comes to mind, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Most of us heard that saying over and over and over :) growing up. 

Not only is it better for those who have to listen to us if we keep our mouths shut, not only is it better for us since we won't have to remove our foot later, but Proverbs 17:27, 28 also tells us that "zipping your lips" is the wise thing to do and will keep us from looking like a fool! "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

The Bible teaches us to study out our answers before we give them. Study your words. Are they pure? Are they helpful? Are they necessary? Are they kind? Will you give them in the spirit of love? Proverbs 15:28 says, "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."

Remember that one word can change a heart. One unnecessarily harsh tone can crush a tender spirit. One moment of unguarded lips can ruin your testimony, damage your ability to witness, and make a person feel unneeded, unloved, and unwanted. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)

What do you say when you don't have anything nice to say? --Nothing!

How do YOU keep from saying words that you'll regret? I usually sing, since that usually calms me down and clears my mind. All of us need help in this area. All of us need the extra ideas. What do YOU do? Please share! :)

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