“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
In July of 2015, I wrote a letter to myself after reading Karen Ehman’s book Keep it Shut! I don’t read this letter as often as I should, but I would like to share it now.
July 5, 2015
I hope that Karen’s book “Keep it Shut” has taught you something that will stand the test of time. I encourage you to truly grasp everything you have learned and carry it with you all the days of your life. Over the course of your lifetime, many regretful words have been spoken. My hope for you is that you may never speak words of remorse from this day forward, and when you do, you humbly ask God for the wisdom to admit your wrongdoing and apologize immediately. I encourage you to always stay in God’s Word and let the verses be written on your heart so that your Love for God can be unchanging and unwavering just as Jesus’ love is for you.
There are some things you need to work on. Make sure that you’re patient and love to your loved ones, especially your Mom and brother. They’ve also seen struggles and tragedy in their life and they need your strength, support, and most of all, your love. Remember to stop and pause before you respond when in disagreement. Be patient, not condescending or caustic. Remember to speak the truth in love. Be encouraging, without condemnation and always ask God to help you lift people up with words, not tear them down.
In whatever relationships you encounter throughout your life, remind yourself to pause and pray before saying something you might regret. Words are powerful and they have consequences. Don’t say something permanently painful just because you are temporarily pissed off. Ask yourself if these words were to be spoken to you, how that might make you feel. And mind your own sin, sweetheart. It is not your job to point fingers. Always believe the best before assuming the worst. It will save you heartache and may prevent a fight. Don’t be a “gasoline queen”, putting fuel on a already kindling flame.
And God-willing, if you may be blessed with children someday, may you instill in them these priceless messages. May you be the pillar of light in their lives so that they may too follow Jesus and live a life in accordance with his will. Discipline your children because you love them. Don’t get lazy. They need it and they might thank you later. Remember to be their mother first, not their friend. Use your time with your children wisely and make sure they know how much you love them, and how much God loves them.
Above all, remember how much God loves you. He wants to see you become the woman he created you to be. And whenever in doubt, hit your knees and pray. Pray that God will bring this letter to memory. Ask him to help you understand what it means to be angry but not sin. To not let the sun go down while still harboring even the slightest pinch in your heart. To be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. May you make it your focus to give a soft answer, thereby helping to prevent a fight before it even begins. May God enable you to be selfless and humble rather than selfish and haughty. May you zip your lips when you know you’re beginning to gossip. And may the Lord empower you to avoid godless chatter and instead speak only with a reverent purpose. May your words not become a spark that sets off a wildfire of regret. Ask the Lord to help you notice the one who least expects to get noticed, changing a life history with your encouraging words. May you build up and not break down. And most importantly, may God tap you on your heart and remind you of the truth that He see’s everything. I know you so want to please the Lord. Ask him to assist you in keeping the lines of divine communication open. May you continue to learn how and when to keep your mouth shut while keeping your heart wide open to God.
In Jesus name, amen.