I realize that I had originally planned on 4 parts to this series on being a Good Steward. They were Finances, Time, Gifts/Abilities, and Our Body. However, last night God showed me another area in which we all need to be good stewards. That area is with our Words.
Proverbs 29:20 (The Message) Observe the people who always talk before they think— even simpletons are better off than they are.
The Bible tells us that we have power in our words. It is the power of life and death. I know this, and therefore try to guard what words I use. However, God showed me last night that it is the words that we speak without thinking that we need to be the most aware of.
For several nights in a row, my daughter Erin has woke up at 1:43 a.m. (yes exactly, almost like an alarm) and had to "go potty." Last night, as I was tucking her in, I had her get up and go to the bathroom one more time. I told her "to try to potty one more time so we don't have to get up in the middle of the night." Seems harmless right? Well at 2:20 this morning Erin called for me. She was sitting up in her bed crying and told me that she couldn't hold it any longer. Of course, we went to the bathroom. I realized then, that she had been crying, thinking I would be upset that she woke me up again. I don't know how long she sat in her bed before she called out to me. I hugged her as I tucked her back in bed, and assured her that I had not meant that she couldn't get up if she needed to. I then went to bed in tears that I had caused pain for my daughter. I had not intended it, but because I did not consider my words I caused confusion, fear, and pain. When I got her up this morning, I apologized to her. She was quick to forgive.
This really made me stop and think. How often do we say things without thinking? It may seem harmless, but if we don't take into account who we are speaking to, or who is overhearing our words, it can cause misunderstandings or even harm. I often ask God to give me words to speak before teaching or sharing testimony. Now I am asking God to give me words to speak in all situations.