If you can’t be kind, be quiet.
That laminated, large, printed statement holds permanent residence in our boys’ bathroom. It’s truly amazing how many unkind words can come out of one bathroom of boys, four boys at that. Growing up as an only child, I never shared a bathroom. I didn’t know the woes to be had when someone filled the toothpaste tube with water or soaped the handles or spit on an arm or (gasp) didn’t flush their poop. The state of their bathroom often pales in comparison to the state of their halitosis filled mouths. Oh, how they need daily mouthwash, both externally and internally. If I'm really honest, they are not the only ones needing a clean mouth.
All too often, I let the hurried responsibilities of life or the troubles of those around me taint my heart. It skews my thoughts and my words follow suit. The mess gets made and then the poop of the mouth gets left unflushed; bringing unpleasantness to all who share my space.
The antidote we have found is THANKFULNESS. Thinking kind and thankful thoughts leads to speaking kind and thankful words. So, everyday we take a few minutes of our morning to say three things we are thankful for out loud. The mornings of quiet have become mornings of encouragement. Try it. Three thankfuls, or more, if you really need a good cleaning. I promise it doesn’t burn as much as mouthwash.
What area of your speech needs a good cleaning? Are you argumentative, boastful, critical or a naysayer? Ask God to grow a spirit of thankfulness in word and action.
Father, remind me that you are always with me and always listening. May the words I say and the thoughts I think be pleasing to you.