Tongue Safety

Finding God in the little things...

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Tongue Safety

Postby lobo on Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:15 pm

Careless Words

Verb 1. shoot one's mouth off - speak spontaneously and without restraint; "She always shoots her mouth off and says things she later regrets"
---A definition from http://www.freedictionary.com

How many of us have seen TV footage or pictures of people shooting up into the air during a celebration? How many cringed when they remembered: What goes up must come down? Careless words are like that bullet that is randomly fired into the air. The bullet could come down and strike the ground, or someone could be standing there... Someone could overhear the words and be hurt by them, or maybe no one hears them, but they harden our hearts a little bit and we become more distant...

One of the main rules of gun safety is to make sure it is always pointed in a safe direction. The same holds true for our tongue... Have you ever seen in the movies where a group of people are talking about someone? Its usually a group of people, with one "ringleader". Often times, the ringleader turns around, and the object of the conversation is standing behind them...

No one is Superman -- no one can move faster than a speeding bullet to stop it. Once words are spoken, they cannot be taken back. They are like a bullet; once it leaves the barrel, we cannot stop it or pull it back. Did you know that if you shoot at long distances, that the wind can move a bullets point of impact from the point of aim? Have you noticed that one person can hear a sentence, and hear something different than another person due to the "wind" in their lives - personal experiences and attitude.

Not all words will affect all people the same way. Not all words will cause such a great response in a person. But, if it doesn't build someone up, would it tear them down?

Bullets and words should have a proper backstop. This allows them to be safely stopped. People shouldn't be the backstop for our words. A bullet backstop will show signs of wear after awhile. Dirt backstops will have craters, and if used enough, could get worn away. When we use harsh words on people, they may not show physical scars, but there will probably be emotional scars.

A careless bullet can kill someone physically. A careless word can kill someone emotionally. An example that comes to mind is eating disorders. There are many cases where someone made a comment in passing which stuck in the person's mind. Then, the person spirals downward into anorexia or bulimia, which results in hospitalization, long-term health consequences, or even death.
What should we use as a backstop for our words? We should take our words to God.

Matthew 11
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

==================================

12 Rules for Tongue safety

1. Learn the characteristics of your words.
Know what words mean and what effect they can have.

2. Treat every provoking word as if it is loaded and would cause harm.
3. Always point your words and thoughts in a safe direction.
If you get a strong feeling that you shouldn't say something, maybe you shouldn't...

4. Keep your finger off the trigger.
Be slow to speak.

5. Keep your mind unloaded and open until ready to speak
Take your thoughts into captivity until you figure out the proper way to express something.
There is a saying that says: Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be considered a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt...

6. Know your target and what's beyond it
Know where the words that you speak will end up.

7. Use only the correct ammunition (words) for your thoughts.
Idiot, moron, stupid, dummy, etc. shouldn't fit in our chamber (mind). Just like a .17 caliber cartridge won't work in a .50 caliber chamber.

8. Know what to do in the event of a misfire.
We should be prepared to apologize if what we say doesn't come out right.

9. Wear protective ear equipment.
Sometimes we have to block out harmful noises that could provoke a response from us.

10. Keep mind free from obstructions and well maintained.
11. Do not mix words with alcohol, drugs, or fatigue.
How many people know someone who, when they are drunk, will say anything to anybody? Or who when they are tired or really busy, can drive people away with their words?

11. Aim before you speak.
Professional shooters are amazing to watch. Some can shoot from the hip, at hit a balloon at 25 yards... After years of practice, they can hit the mark as they clear the holster, but have you ever thought about how bad their aim was when they first started? In the same way, some people just have a way with words - some have more practice than others. They seem to be able to always hit the mark when they reply. The rest of us, need to aim first...

Should we walk on pins and needles, never saying anything critical? No. We should speak the truth in love.

Just be sure it is the truth...

And be sure you think first...
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Postby chad_ghost on Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:29 pm

as always, great stuff. i especially like the rules. i might even be able to use them in my classroom (to some extent).
chad_ghost

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"We cannot live the Christian life, only strive to. Only one man did, and they named it after Him."
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Postby Jimmyboy on Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:39 am

Boy I sure should have visited the site on Friday and read this. I had a situation where I shot my mouth off. I've already apologized this morning. Very true words, Lobo! Thanks!
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