Let me be honest, I like to be the one with the smartest comeback in the room. I am an easy going, fun-loving, joke-cracking, laughing-my-heart-out-for-silly-jokes kind of person. I quite like that about myself.
The problem, though, with my personality is this: in the pursuit of the funny remarks, I don't often think before I speak. I just end up blurting out things which seem funny or smart in my head. More often than not, it ends up being neither funny, not smart. And there I am, hours later, cursing myself for that slip of tongue.
You would think that after having faced similar situations for the umpteenth number of times, I would have learnt my lesson. NOPE! I still try to be the one with the smartest answer.
The other day, I had to make a call to cancel my internet dongle connection which I took in Kerala. It was supposed to work in Delhi but it just refused. I was furious when I called the customer care to cancel my connection because I was being charged a lot of money for months without actually availing any services. In my mind, I was quite convinced that it was my right to be rude to the man who attended my call. I got the job done very soon, probably because of the tone of my voice. And there I was, satisfied with myself for the accomplishment I had just made.
Later, when I was thinking about my behaviour, I was so embarrassed that I wanted to curl up and sit in a hole. I remember that the man on the other end of the phone was extremely gracious even when I was shouting at him, and that made it even worse.
This made me think of the importance of my speech and the effect it has on people. Whatever my excuse was, I did not have the right to shout at that man, especially when it wasn't his personal fault.
As I looked into the Bible about the importance of speech, verses came flowing out of it like a fountain. I was amazed to see God's heart on this issue and how much He values good speech.
"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21
"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. " Proverbs 21:23
"To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." Titus 3:2
"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless." James 1:26
Ouch! That one right there hurt me the most. Here I was trying to do the right things while hurting people with my words.
I know I cannot better myself by my own strength but I also know that my God is a God who picks me up every time I stumble. And that He is dedicated to making me like Christ, which is far better than anything I could ever imagine for myself. There's hope for me after all.
The following verse is my prayer for myself and for others who are fighting the same battle that I am.
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!" - Psalm 141:3