Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mama Always Said...

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

"Kill 'em with kindness."

Okay, my mom said the first, the second one I usually came up with. How about what God said?

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips." Proverbs 4:24
In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." Proverbs 10:19
"Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." James 1:19
Scripture is full of instruction on what to say, what not to say, how much to say, and even if I were to get all that right, I'd likely fail in the 'attitudes of the heart' department. God sees that too, and unfortunately isn't real impressed when what comes out of my mouth sounds good, but what's lurking in my heart is less than lovely.

Here's what Elisabeth George advises, in 'Woman After God's Own Heart':

Five 'S's: Are your words SOFT, SWEET, SUITABLE, SCANT, SLOW? Mine? Lots of room for improvement in all five areas. I love that she said this: "Say what you mean, but don't say it meanly!" Thinking on that one can suck the life out of me, the number of times I've failed there.

Right when I want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed all day, here's encouragement from Scripture:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Today, just for today, I'm up and dressed, and counting on Scripture, Elisabeth and Mama to keep my lips sealed and my heart headed the right direction.

10 comments:

Deidre said...

Love the new home, Bev! And, I LOVE the new design. Those free designs are so cute. I can't wait to read what all you have to say. Whatever 'tone' you have, it's always great.

Barb said...

"Say what you mean, but don't say it meanly."

Now THAT'S worthy of the refrigerator. And you know how I feel about putting stuff on my fridge. :-)

Kelly said...

Great words to remember. Especially today when I am feeling frustrated by a sick child and a plate too full... these are the days when I all too often say things I regret!

Renna said...

What a wonderful post, Bev! I especially like that quote from Elizabeth, "Say what you mean, but don't say it meanly!". I'll be using that one. ;-)

It's funny, I grew up hearing my mom say "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all", and my kids in turn grew up hearing me say it. Now that my mom is getting older, I sometimes find myself saying it to her!. I'll have to remember what Elizabeth said, though, and say it to her 'nicely'. ;-)

Elizabeth - Scrappygolden said...

What a fabulous blog you have and I'm glad I found it!

Beautiful post too and one I think most of us struggle with. I'm going to write down the "Say what you mean, but don't say it meanly" saying and try to keep it memorized.

Betty said...

Love your new blog design! I think I´m going to check out those free designs as well.
And great to see you blogging here. I will be one of your faithful readers!
I love your mothers saying as well!

Gretchen said...

Yeah, I forgot to mention how cute I thought your blog was, yesterday.

Oh, the mouth. She gets me into so much trouble. Thanks for this godly reminder. More (words)and mean are not better: just more and mean.

But still...I thought it was, if you can't say something nice, come sit by me. No? :)

zeelandchik said...

Love the new look. Kinda like redecorating, but a whole lot cheaper! Glad to hear you're not closing down both sites.

Nancy

Dawn said...

So we've followed you to Blog #3. It looks good. And sounds good.

I saw the movie two weeks ago - loved it! There was a lot of sniffling in the theater at the end.

I read another post on this subject today - Hmmm. Must need to hear it!

Susanne said...

Oh my word (or words, literally). Did you write this just for me? Way too many times my tone is not what it should be.