I can be an overtalker. An anxious rambler. I sometimes fear awkward silences, and I can hardly let an uncomfortable situation sit.
There’s a frantic urgency to overreach with my words, to extent an apology or clarifying statement or burst of emotion.
I’ve known this to be true throughout my life, but lately it’s been flashing bright like Vegas Neon. And truthfully, I’m bothered by it.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21
I’m disturbed by my fear of discomfort in a conversation. I’m weary from my need to explain myself completely and entirely, to cover all my bases, to fix a situation immediately.
I wonder about pride, and how it could be a root issue here: the need to be sure I’m understood, the desire to make sure I’m not seen as wrong or confused or behind the curve.
Once I get going, words like a garden hose rush from my lips. Usually resulting in regret or self-doubt or disappointment, sometimes condemnation before Holy Spirit catches me.
Maybe words have become to me a way I am well thought of, or a rambling blanket of self-preservation, protection or pleasing.
Conversely, enslavement to talking causes us to habitually say what pops into our head without considering whether our words serve others… We forget that our intention—what we really want—is to bless the ones we love. Jan Johnson
If my heart is repeatedly bonding with Jesus’ heart, I believe the pressure to fix and correct and clarify would disappear.
Even when I appear wrongly to someone, or there’s a misunderstanding, or I say something careless or hurtful, because of Jesus and the cross, forgiveness covers my sin. If I live from that Truth, by grace I am saved, I can use my speech to focus not on myself, but on those around me. I can speak to impart grace to the hearers.
To stop worrying about what’s next and to be amazed by what’s right in front of me. Because His goodness, His grace and His glory – they’re all around. I just need to keep my eyes open. Ann Voskamp
Confidence in myself instead of God surfaces in other areas of my life, and the words that come out of my mouth are a perfect example.
Nervous ramblings, fearful run-on sentences, unintentional comments… they spill out because they reside somewhere in my heart.
Our hearts are reservoirs. They hold our emotions, our desires, our dreams, our passions, our fears, and more. What fills yours up will eventually make it’s way out of your mouth. It determines the borders of your words. Soak your heart in His Word.
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Jesus said (Matthew 12:34). And the way God means to change the mouth is by becoming that abundance. He means to be a fountain of life for us and in us so that out of that abundance our mouths can be a fountain of life for others. John Piper
Father, I need this discipline of fewness yet abundance in my speech. I’m sure I’ll continue to fail, but I am desperate for it. And I learn it from You. Keep watch over the doors of my lips. I want to be more Spirit-controlled, less self-doubting, anxious, and hurried. You are my source of wisdom, make me sensitive to when I should listen, be quiet, or speak. Forgive me for grieving You by not trusting You with other people’s opinions or impressions of me. I don’t want my words to distract me from imparting Your grace, and love, to the person in front of me. You delight in me, I want to live from that Truth, and overflow that joy and mercy and life to others. Give me eyes to see the hearts of others like You do. Me and you, Holy Spirit. Amen.