Post by: Christy Mobley
Warning: Don’t ever catch a hormonal woman off guard. However, if you do, approach with caution. Be aware that her responses may range anywhere from rage to tears, and possibly temporary memory loss. And be prepared for such.
I thought I was walking up on two friends talking. I wasn’t privy to the firestorm that took place just minutes before with a third-party, and there was nothing to warn me of the impending danger. But like getting too close to a smoldering ember, I got burned.
Because I was in the wrong place at the right time I was thrown an accusatory question that I wasn’t prepared to answer. And when I did answer, it was anything but graceful.
Instead of giving a response that would exonerate me of the accusation (being transparent as Saran wrap), I gave my friend a long pause and a blank look, all the while scrolling through my menopausal, mental Rolodex to see if there was any possible way I could have been held guilty (which in and of itself made me look as much.) Then as if to seal my fate, I muttered something like, I don’t think I did that.
My friend walked away angry and in tears and I felt like I had hurt our relationship and ruined my witness.
It wasn’t a good day for either of us.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 NIV
God’s Word in Colossians reminds us,
to always be prepared to speak with grace,
our conversation being seasoned with salt.
(Not laced with arsenic.)
So why didn’t I know how to answer my friend? Why wasn’t I prepared to answer with grace?
Sure, I could have blame it on my menopausal brain fog but that wouldn’t have been the truth. My blank stare was from the brain fog.
The truth was, though I had never called my friend a gossip as she had suggested in the heat of the moment, I obviously had cause to pause and ponder her question.
This meant that I must have, at some time, listened to or entered into a conversation about my friend that could have been construed as negative.
Being prepared has everything to do with what you do beforehand.
I would have been prepared to answer her question if I had made it a habit to:
Pause and consider the power words hold. Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death…”
Pause to listen carefully before I let my words tumble out. James 1:19, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Pause to consider what is wise. Proverbs 10:19 “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.”
Pause to examine every word that comes out of my mouth. Even if I think it to be innocent. Matthew 12:36 “I tell you on the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless word they speak.”
Pause to remember that God is always with me and hears every word I say. Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
If I had paused for these things, I would not have had to scroll through an imaginary Rolodex to check what I might have previously said.
I would have known my words were safe.
I would have been prepared to answer my friend with speech seasoned with love and encouragement; words soothing to a wounded heart.
I felt convicted for my run-away words but even more than conviction I felt thankful. This unexpected confrontation gave me reason to examine the cause to pause.
Are you pausing to consider your words before you speak them? Have you ever been caught off guard because you didn’t police your speech? How did you feel? What did you do? I would love to hear your story.
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Christy is a wife, mother, writer, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. She is passionate about encouraging women to move forward, and press on through their struggles, seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road. You can connect with Christy at Joying in the Journey