Don’t Say It!

By on September 15, 2013
image of a check list for a wise tongue

By Poppy Smith –

I brooded. I fumed. I prayed. I cried. Finally, steamed up and ready to blow, I sat down at my computer.

Hammering out my deeply felt opinions, my wisdom from years of living, and a bunch of sock-it-to-you Scriptures for good measure, I shot my highly sensitive email into outer space. With the mere press of the “Send” button, my missile headed with cyber accuracy straight to its intended target.

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Now, I know myself. I know that when I get really steamed up about something I need to breathe deeply, pray calmly, and not do something foolish. If I don’t, my mood gets grim. My mind gets clouded. My mouth gets going. I do things I know I will regret!

Relief from firing off my email didn’t last long. The recipient, one of my children whose choices I didn’t agree with, shot back a short, sharp response. Clearly, my motherly input was not appreciated.

I was shocked. After all, we mothers mean well when we occasionally lob our pent-up views at family members. But, as I discovered in no uncertain terms, meaning well and making smart choices aren’t synonymous. Once again, I had barreled through those pesky mother/adult child boundaries with my poorly thought-out comments. Instead of building up our relationship, which was my fervent desire, I blew it up!

So much for being a savvy woman who always makes smart choices.

But that’s what I want. I want to learn and grow from the dumb decisions I make that too often end up hurting me and others. I want to wise-up spiritually and emotionally so I recognize what I’m thinking, and how I’m feeling, before I say or do something I regret. Most of all, in spite of my flaws and foul-ups, I long to become a savvy woman who makes choices that please God and take me in the direction He wants for my life.

How about you? Do you make choices from time to time that are less than smart? I’m asking God to help me use the following check-list so I become a wiser woman:

  • Hold it. Choose not to say it.
  • Think about the words you want to say. Are they inflammatory or healing?
  • Consider your tone. What message does it give?
  • Weigh the consequences. Will it produce anger, hurt, shutting down? Is your momentary emotional relief worth the likely result?

Question: If you have tongue problems, what helps you choose not to say it?


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About Poppy Smith

Born in England to a non-believing family, Poppy grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Kenya. She met her American husband in Nairobi and they soon moved to the United States. The adjustment to her new marriage and new country, combined with loneliness and the loss of all that was familiar, brought Poppy to a defining moment with God. The resulting change, from anger to acceptance, from fighting God to seeking Him, led her into a life-long love of Scripture and the One it reveals. Her website:

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Don’t Say It!