Bad Speech Comes From Stinking Thinking

Leader with gasmask
Rebuke stinkin' thinkin'. (iStock photo )

One of my favorite proverbs is "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov. 25:11).

I suppose I will always be learning to apply this verse. I seem to specialize in finding ways to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. My sense of what is funny is often not funny to hearers. It certainly doesn't pass the Ephesians 4:29 test:

"Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners."

The language of a leader can improve instantly by simply using the Ephesians filter, "will these words build up?"

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I believe bad thinking leads to bad speaking. Leaders often speak into situations based on what they have been told or perhaps read in an email. The challenge is NOT to jump quickly into any thought.

When presented with news about a team member or work issue, leaders must be careful to think about the news with spiritual guidance. Problems deepen when a leader thinks "here we go again," or "it's just Fred being Fred." Fatalistic thinking is the forerunning thought that catalyzes acid tongue disease.

The Holy Spirit will lead us to think more pure thoughts. We will hear bad news but think good thoughts. We will actively seek the most reasonable explanation about what we hear. We will form a spiritual opinion about what we hear while closing all doors to evil interpretation.

The Spirit of God will provide discernment in a matter, but the Spirit will also lead us to speak restoration rather than destruction.

A word fitly spoken springs forth from spiritually disciplined thinking. 




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