Several years ago I put myself on a diet. This week I fell off the wagon, again! Determined to get back on, I hunted around in my files for this little piece I wrote back then. It will explain everything…
I have a size 8 ½ mouth. I know because I put my foot in it several times last week and it fit perfectly. Upset over saying some things I regretted, I decided to go on a verbal diet. I determined to speak only what was good and necessary. I would skim the fat from my conversations by refraining from complaining and criticizing. And I would stop all my opinion giving binges. How did I do? Not very well. But I happened to do just well enough to be surprised by the benefits of such a plan.
The first thing I noticed on my verbal diet was that I experienced more peace. I never realized how much worry accompanied words of complaint and criticism, or how much angst went into my attempts to influence others with my opinions. Secondly, I noticed that my relationships seemed to improve on the spot. I became a better listener when I wasn’t waiting to get in my two cents. I enjoyed people more and understood them better. Thirdly, I noticed that when I talked to people less I talked to God more. What I wanted to tell them I turned into prayers to Him. When I started this diet I worried that my relationships might go hungry on fewer words. Instead I found they were better nourished and more deeply fed!
“…be quick to listen, slow to speak…” James 1:19