I came across this on a blog a while back. A fellow mom was sharing how she asks her children to “test” their speech–especially with one another–with this:
Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?
I definitely need to work on all three of these in my own speech…especially the necessary part.
I was shy and fairly quiet for much of my early years and into college. When I said something in a group, I generally tried to at least have something substantial to say most of the time.
Not that I’m a huge talker these days, but my speech is definitely much more “loose” and chatty than it used to be. Too often I find myself saying unecessary things: over-explaining myself, going off on unhelpful tangents, giving my opinions un-prompted…simply saying things that are not necessary or helpful or illuminating or edifying.
I do this in my marriage (And oh how the unnecessary can be just as harmful to good marital communication as something untrue or unkind!).
I do this with my friends, family and acquaintances.
I do this with the butcher at Kroger and the barista at Starbucks.
I do this in prayer.
This week, I came across one of those stick-it-to-you-when-God-wants-you-to-hear-it verses in Proverbs.
“He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit has understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.”
Some of the most mature, wise people I know are also the last ones to speak or offer their opinions. I want to work toward that, to be a person whose presence is thoughtful, calm, and even wise. For my children’s sake. For my marriage’s sake. For God’s sake. Because I think God asks that of all of us, in some way.
Just something I’m working on these days.
Copyright 2012 Erin Franco