Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

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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.”
-Proverbs 17:27-28

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

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About Author

Erin is a stay-at-home mom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has written her blog, Humble Handmaid, since 2009, and she also co-hosts a Catholic women's radio show, "Faith and Good Counsel". She writes about her adventures and spiritual reflections as a young Catholic woman, wife and mother. Erin is oft-frazzled momma to three children under five years old. She always appreciates encouraging comments, gift cards to coffee shops, and free babysitting.

3 Comments

  1. Oh how I need to work on this as well…I have always been a talker. I often ask myself when it’s too late, “Was that really necessary?” Maybe I will really try to focus on that this lent…like my father always said, “THINK before you speak.”

  2. I think this can be said for all of the things we blab out on Facebook. It seems to me that people type a massive amount of things on Facebook (when there is no face to face conversations or accountability) that they would never dream of saying to someone in the flesh. We must guard our tongues in writing, as well. Great piece Erin.

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