The taste of Ivory soap. The mouth washing must have worked because I don’t remember what I said decades ago to deserve it, but since then I’ve tried hard to put more thought into what I’m about to say. While growing up, my Mom would often remind me to, “THINK, before you speak.” In fact, we even had a framed needle point hanging on our kitchen wall with the following:
T – is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N – is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?
I find myself wishing that more folks would use the “THINK, before you speak” filter given today’s headlines, topics of social media conversation and subject matter of presidential debates. Now I don’t mean that you should never confront or address problems, but I do think that whatever you do, you do it with an attitude of building up and not tearing down.
I get it. I’ve been there, at odds with someone or so upset you feel they don’t deserve it. You just want to tear them down. It’s in those times that I really need to lean on God’s grace, His undeserved favor, to help build someone up. Only by relying on the Holy Spirit for His continued grace can I think about encouraging others. It also extends to others what I may need in return in the future, because I know I will fall short, sooner than later. This way I can leave the soap where it belongs, in the soap dish.
Ephesians 4:29 – “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”