A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45
Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
This week it all came to a head. A couple of work assignments went south and potentially set me on a collision course with my leads. I was so upset that I found myself seated in the corner stewing, ready to volley off my ‘honest’ opinion. I suddenly felt a check in my spirit. Was the situation off track? Yes. Did I need to clear the air? Absolutely? Was a super honest rebuttal needed? Not at all. Hear me out. Yes, I needed to speak up and correct the situation, but could I do it in a less volatile way? Definitely!
What caught my attention most wasn’t that I needed to speak up. It was the fact that the way I was about to speak was full of pain and anger that would trigger a big argument that would not be useful to the ongoing conversations. It would inflame an already difficult situation and cause more dissension than I cared for and that was not my goal.
I have been asking God to give me a gentler heart that cared more for people and still spoke the truth. I saw how this situation was part of the learning process therefore, I determined I would not fail.
At that moment, the only thing I could do was sit still, take a walk or work on something different that would allow me to create distance to process the situation before I gave a response. I realised there was no standard response time because each situation was different and demanded a different response and skill set to resolve. I saw that when I am triggered by anger or frustration, something in my heart needs to heal or urgent dealing with.
The silence or short-term withdrawal from the trigger helps me. It:
- Allows processing, healing and recalibration.
- Gives me space to re-centre myself on the real issue, not the language or tone.
- Enables me to measure my words and only say things that add value to life.
“A word spoken cannot be taken back,” so I must be sure to only speak in ways that inspire, build and encourage others. I measure my words because they:
- Show the truth of my heart
- Create the atmosphere in and around me
- Build or break others
- Strengthen or destroy my calling
Whatever you do; measure your words very carefully.