During my teens and twenties, I said whatever came to mind. And since depression reigned during those years, what I said often failed to benefit anyone. A habit of careless words indicated a much larger problem within the atmosphere of my inner self.
While raising a toddler, the impact of my words on myself and others suddenly jumped out in stark contrast to the person I wanted to be. The desire to change went well beyond what others thought of me – my reputation – and straight to the heart of the person I truly was – my character.
My character displeased God. Nothing else mattered. And if I failed to control my words, I knew the consequences would be significant. My careless words indicated a problem deep within, and the solution came first through conviction (Matthew 28:12:36-37), then through accepting grace (Romans 4:7-8), and then through obedience.
You see, confessing the problem and accepting forgiveness started the process. Following the path of obedience – conforming my likeness to His – needed to follow in order for my life to truly please my Heavenly Father.
In this still-ongoing process, many lessons stand out regarding the significance of the words I say.
- Careless words reveal unchecked emotions.
- Careless words mean a lack of self-control over my influences.
- Careless words say more about the speaker than the receiver.
- Careless words indicate an out-of-balance inner atmosphere.
- The more I try to control situations and people, the more careless words I say.
- The more I talk, the less others (especially my kids) seem to listen.
- Admitting to careless words means admitting to a deeper problem, usually pride.
- Fear of being misunderstood often causes me to say too much.
- Lack of sleep and proper nourishment impact the ability to control my words.
- Writing slows thoughts down and causes careful consideration of my words.
Careless words now exist as an indicator that some aspect of my inner self needs aligned. And, the sooner I make the necessary adjustments, the less impact the consequences have on myself and others.
DISCUSSION: What might your careless words be trying to tell you?