Verbal Backspacing: It’s Not A Filter Issue »

29 Oct

Shut Mouth

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” –Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)

Have you ever blurted out something and before your sentence was completed realized you should have said nothing instead?  It is as difficult to recall words better left unspoken as it is to un-ring a bell once the clapper has clanged dissonantly. The following article explores the link between our heart and our tongue recognizing a heart in need of change is the most likely culprit for the lack of internal editor (Matthew 15:18). There are times when ugly thoughts surface verbally to audibly remind us of the need for the ongoing sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

“There is such a supernatural work created in believers by the Holy Spirit which always abides in them. This work of the Holy Spirit inclines the mind, will and heart to deeds of holiness and thus makes us fit to live to God. This work also gives power to the soul enabling it to live to God in all holy obedience. This work differs specifically from all other habits, intellectual or moral, that we may achieve by our own efforts, or by spiritual gifts that we might be given” (John Owen, “The Holy Spirit”).

Verbal Backspacing: It’s Not A Filter Issue

Last week while standing around with some friends, I carelessly commented on something I should have kept my mouth shut about. I criticized someone’s work without knowing it was actually the work of one of my friends. One who was standing right there. Of course I immediately felt like a first-class jerk. In hindsight, my words were idle, self-exalting, and proud, but what initially struck me about the situation was not my sin. It was how foolish I felt knowing I could have prevented the faux pas. Blame it on that faulty brain-to-mouth filter.

I fell all over myself apologizing. I tried to backtrack. I tried to put the comment in a less-offensive context. Ultimately, I tried to prove I really wasn’t such an insensitive and rude friend. All the while, I continued to dig a deeper and deeper hole for myself.

It’s easier to blame biting criticism or flat out rudeness on slow thinking or tiredness, than it is to take personal responsibility for accidentally exposing how you really feel – whether or not it’s socially appropriate. Let’s just call it an editorial problem, one we meant to delete and instead let fly. That’s the beauty of writing, if I type out something obviously foolish, offensive, or bad, I can backspace a few times and it’s like it never happened. But with my mouth, there is no backspacing. My words have “gone to print” so-to-say, too late to retract. If only there were such a thing as verbal backspacing, a delete button for the words I regret publicizing.

Excerpted from: Verbal Backspacing: It’s Not A Filter Issue » Worship Rejoices.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: