Watch Your Mouth

It’s not always puppies and unicorns with everything going your way. There are no promises that everything in this life is supposed to be perfect. There are trials.

But what are you saying when you’re going through a difficult trial?

You’ve got to watch your mouth.

Watch Your Mouth
Copyright: ra2studio / 123RF Stock Photo

There’s no denying that we can have a negative verbal reaction when we receive bad news. It’s like hitting your finger with a hammer… there’s likely to be some colorful language to come out.

There’s a danger, however, in letting negative words continually flow out of you. Rick Warren has a great observation with this. Anger is not something that when you fill up with it, you just let it out and get rid of it. Anger is a little more dangerous than that. When it starts coming out of us, it’s like a machine that can keep producing more and more and more anger. It’s like turning on the switch to the Negative Emotion Factory. This is the same factory that can produce plenty of other negative emotions: sadness, envy, resentment, self-pity.

There is nothing wrong with talking about troubles that you’ve gone through. Keep in mind that words fuel your feelings, both negative and positive.

Years ago I used to have a constant phrase I would use when people would ask me how I was.

“I’m exhausted.”

It was my way of letting people know how hard I was working and how I was juggling all the challenges of work, family and personal life. I said it ALL the time.

Until my wife corrected me after we went to a friend’s party. She had overheard a number of my interactions with other people that night, and the only thing I kept saying was how I exhausted I was. It wasn’t painting our life in a very positive way.
After the party that night, I made a concentrated effort to remove the phrase “I’m exhausted” or “I’m tired” out of my vocabulary. Here’s the strange thing… several weeks later after not saying these phrases, I actually started feeling more rested and energetic. My negative phrase and been physically and emotionally running me into the ground for months.

I challenge you not only watch your mouth with the negative thoughts and emotions, but to replace those words with  phrases that will build you up.

“And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” James 3:4-5 (NLT)

Perhaps the negative emotions that you are feeling are really a disguised call for help. Try flipping those words of frustration into “I’m in a rough spot and I need some guidance, direction and support.” There’s a very good chance someone will hear your call and give you the support you need.

What negative phrases do you find yourself automatically saying? How could you flip that into a positive? Share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

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