How does it feel when others ask a full grown adult a question like ‘are you talking with the benefit of common sense; or are you listening to yourself at all?’ I have found myself asking a few people these questions not out of spite but as an effort to kick start some self evaluation. And on each occasion, I truly wonder how many times we actually process our thoughts, its effects on the hearers before voicing. It is true that some thoughts are better kept as thoughts and as such kept to ourselves. It often baffles me that many people grow up without learning from a young age to think before speaking and think before acting.
Insensitive comments and careless use of words makes wounds that heal slowly.
To be a self evaluator, it is good practice to re process our words in our minds and weigh how much of those words are worth sharing with others. Our words are powerful with a potential to build, create or tear down and destroy. Even when we have to criticise let us be careful to critic positively and build instead of destroy our hearers. The book of proverbs beautifully puts it that the mouth of the righteous is a well of life….but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. Let us strive for our mouths to be as that of the righteous; a mouth that gives life, grace and hope to the hearers.
If we constantly make the choice to think before we speak and act, then we have won the greatest of all battles – control of the mouth. Sometimes we ere, but self evaluation enables us to keep that monster of a thing, the mouth, in check. I believe God gave us two ears and one mouth for a purpose. Always think before speaking, it will make you sound wise and stand out as a man of understanding. It is never too late however to start the process of self reflection and evaluation. It pays!