As You Speak, So Is Your Heart

For some time in my youth, I could go entire days without speaking. I know, people who know me now would not believe that. It’s true.

James (from the book bearing his name) discusses the tongue as the revealer of the condition of one’s heart. I wonder what it means to speak seldom, if at all. People do think you’re smart. I know that.

I heard a man talk of a dinner when he and his wife had invited another couple that they didn’t know well. Both the man and his wife were tired after a strenuous week, so they didn’t talk much during the dinner. That meant that they listened much. Eager to know what the couple thought about them, they rushed to a window when the couple left and heard them say, “What an entertaining couple.”

James teaches that we can get into great trouble with our tongues. I wonder if he was just passing along Wisdom teaching, or if he knew from personal experience. He grew up with Jesus. Ever wonder if he said things during adolescence that he later regretted?

Since I am introverted by nature, I can sit here (doing it now) and remember the many times I said stupid or hurtful things. I remember with a pang of guilt. Surely in those moments, my heart was not living in the Spirit. It was rather captured by some feelings that needed to be dealt with–anger, frustration, insecurity, envy.

I used to put a little reminder in my planner to talk less and listen more. Ask more questions. Reduce my answers. That is a worthy goal for the year.

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