Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. --Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NIV)
I had done it again. In my eagerness to send out a new email I paused only long enough to spell-check my words instead of scrutinizing my use of language. My embarrassing grammatical error seemed to leap from the page. There it sat, glaringly obvious, yet somehow subtle. The apostrophe dangled between the t and s like an eyebrow cocked in disapproval.
My greatest attempts to craft a well-written composition can be undone by such thoughtless errors. So also can my Christian testimony and credibility be called into questions as a result of a careless or hasty word.
I am still learning how to be more disciplined when it comes to controlling my tongue. Sometimes my selfish desire to be the center of attention overrides my willingness to adhere to God's standards of speech. In my lifetime I have likely spoken far more worthless words than beautiful ones, and that is a painful reality to face.
God has blessed me with two very powerful avenues of communication. One is in the way I use my words to connect with people; the other is how I connect to God himself. Sometimes I take that for granted, particularly when it comes to my prayer life. At times I have treated prayer as little more than a silent exchange of words. In such cases I have railed to acknowledge how extraordinary it is that I, an unholy sinner, am allowed to enter into God's presence.
In addition to learning how to reign in my loose tongue, I know that my attitude regarding prayer needs an adjustment as well. God deserves more from me than hasty words, clumsily thrown together without forethought. As I re-examine my heart, I expect that my words--spoken or written--will be laced with meaning.
Read more articles by Lauren Beyenhof or search for articles on the same topic or others.