How often could things be remedied by a word. How often it is left unspoken.
"Find Your Voice"
As we must account for every idle Word, so we must for every idle Silence.
"Face The Music"
If you do what you should not, you must hear what you would not.
"Well-Timed Is The Key"
Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech
Martin Farquhar Tupper
"Change The Subject. Jesus Did."
If you don't like the question that's asked, answer some other question.
"A Few Persuasive Words"
It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn
"A Little Goes A Long Way"
An overdose of praise is like 10 lumps of sugar in coffee; only a very few people can swallow it.
"Make No Oath At All"
A promise made is an oath unpaid.
Robert W. Service
"Study Hard, But Above All Be Great"
The world’s great men have not commonly been scholars, nor great scholars great men.
Oliver W. Holmes
"Wish I'd Said That!"
Though old the thought and oft expressed,
'Tis his at last who says it best.
James Russell Lowell
Recently I made a covenant with my mouth to stop talking trash. I know, that’s pretty broad. What I have in mind specifically is all the little ways I betray God all day by little faithless comments. I figure if Job can make a covenant with his eyes (that’s a good idea too: Job 31:1), then I can make one with my mouth.
I find it is not an easy covenant. (But then again “the gate is narrow and the way is hard. . . .”) When you first embark on it, you start to notice all the trash you talk habitually without even noticing it.
But I would like to find myself among the folks in Psalm 145:10-12. As they speak of God’s power and glory, I’ll bet He shows them even more of it.
'All your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds.'"
But words are things,
and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew,
upon a thought,
That which makes thousands,
perhaps millions, think.
"These Ever-Expanding Concentric Circles"
...words released into the ether never simply evaporate away like dew, but people remember our conversations after they have gone home. And whether we said worthy or worthless things, those words will bear fruit—worthy words unto eternal life, and worthless words unto destruction.
That was a good exhortation for me because I don’t usually think of someone remembering my words after we have parted—in spite of the fact that I know full well I always remember others’ words and carry them around in my heart to my harm or my strengthening. The most casual of comments sow either to good or to harm...I never cease to be amazed by the rippling effect of spoken words that are in sync with God’s own Word...my own interactions with people will be different—and on and on in these ever-expanding concentric circles.
"Just Say No”
Better a friendly refusal than an unwilling compliance.
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.
"To Inspire Willingness"
Never claim as a right what you can ask as a favor.
John Churton Collins
"Good Idea? Forge Ahead."
A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow.
Charles H. Brower
"Put On Your Magic Glasses"
Back in November we were discussing the film Doctor Zhivago. The first commenter on my first column about it mentioned that her parents made the decision to divorce immediately after watching that film at a drive-in theater. I myself recall that when The Bridges of Madison County was the box office hit, an interview of viewers in China evinced the same phenomenon. One woman who saw it testified that the Clint Eastwood film gave her courage to leave her husband.
If we only had magic glasses that allowed us to see the infinite ripples of an exhaled word not in line with God’s truth, I think we would tremble at the thought of what we have spewed so casually all our lives.
Nowadays I start Paul’s letters and I pause over the words that I used to skim, and I wonder: What precisely is going on when Paul says “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”?
If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up as a person.
Ralph J. Bunche
"Stirring A Conscience"
The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Build A Relational Bridge"
You have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into His family…there is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it. If you don’t share it, it will be lost forever…personal stories are also easier to relate to...and people love to hear them. They capture our attention, and we remember them longer…Shared stories build a relational bridge that Jesus can walk across from your heart to theirs...While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn’t enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another… imagine how much needless frustration could be avoided if we learned from each other’s life lessons.
Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy
Sir Issac Newton
“Covet Not to Please Men”
“...take it not to heart if some people think ill of the, and say of thee what thou art not willing to hear...Let not thy peace be in the tongues of men, for whether they put a good or bad construction on what thou doest, thou art not for all that, other than thou art. Where is true peace and true glory? Is it not in Me? And he who covets not to please men, nor fears their displeasure, shall enjoy much peace.
"Painting Black Mustaches"
My view of words was that there are good words and bad words but that most speech is neutral. After all, how can you sin ordering a cheese steak hoagie?
But the more I go, the more I see spoken words as falling into either what “gathers” or what “scatters.” ...It is a rare person who will recognize himself in a moral example. We are sure we would never have been the Pharisees or Job’s wife or Elisha’s servant Gehazi. We paint waxed mustaches on them, while we ourselves, by contrast, do not grumble but “share” or “discuss” or “confess” or make “prayer requests.”
It helps me to think of speech as a zero-sum game: It is important not only to avoid outright sinful words, but also worthless and insipid words, where words of life might have seized an opportunity for the kingdom. Jesus’ bar is higher than ours. We feel we’ve had a good day if we didn’t swear, lie, or gossip. Jesus says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36).
I hate to think of the times I went for a cheap laugh rather than turn a conversation to eternally weighty things.
"Communicate What Is Universally Profitable"
The unbeliever may take his own temperament and experience, just as they happen to stand, and consider them worth communicating simply because they are his. To the Christian his own temperament and experience, as mere fact, and as merely his, are of no value or importance whatsoever: he will deal with them, if at all, only because they are the medium through which, or the position from which, something universally profitable appeared to him."
“What Every Soul Is Really Asking”
“Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say valuable to you?
“Solving The Puzzle”
Good listeners help you synthesize your thoughts
“How To Deepen An Interaction”
Whenever someone shares something with you, be conscious of asking this question: "wow, how did you feel when that happened?" Adding the word 'wow" takes you-trying -to -be- a- therapist edge off the question. under no circumstances should you say, "I see. Tell me how you feel about that?" Asking others this question is a gift because it makes them pause and it shows you care about their emotions. It's also a gift to you, because it will make your interactions with others much, much deeper and more meaningful.
The best way to endear yourself to a teenager is to talk about nothing in particular, demonstrate that you are an underdog and only when the right moment arrives show that you care. Take the time to really engage and connect with people even if you initially suspect that you don't have any common ground. It requires you to acknowledge and honor their uniqueness. It requires you to see the best in them and believe that goodness and humanity are part of who they are. In short, it requires love.
“Genuine Listening and Mutual Exploration”
When a genuine listening conversation is taking place, one person at a time has the floor, and everyone else is listening. The person speaking is granted the opportunity to seriously discuss some event, usually unhappy or even tragic. Everyone else responds sympathetically. These conversations are important because the speaker is organizing the troublesome event in his or her mind, while recounting the story. The fact is important enough to bear repeating: people organize their brains with conversation. If they don’t have anyone to tell their story to, they lose their minds. Like hoarders, they cannot unclutter themselves. The input of the community is required for the integrity of the individual psyche. To put it another way: It takes a village to organize a mind.
The final type of conversation, akin to listening, is a form of mutual exploration. It requires true reciprocity on the part of those listening and speaking. It allows all participants to express and organize their thoughts. A conversation of mutual exploration has a topic, generally complex, of genuine interest to the participants. Everyone participating is trying to solve a problem, instead of insisting on the prior validity of their own positions. All are acting on the premise that they have something to learn. This kind of conversation constitutes active philosophy, the highest form of thought, and the best preparation for proper living.
“No one can have a discussion about “everything.” Instead, you can say, “This exact, precise thing—that is what is making me unhappy. This exact, precise thing—that is what I want, as an alternative (although I am open to suggestions, if they are specific). This exact, precise thing—that is what you could deliver, so that I will stop making your life and mine miserable.” But to do that, you have to think: What is wrong, exactly? What do I want, exactly? You must speak forthrightly and call forth the habitable world from chaos. You must use honest precise speech to do that.”
“Make Your Request”
This is genuine conflict, however, and it’s neither pleasant nor easy. You must also know clearly what you want out of the situation, and be prepared to clearly articulate your desire. It’s a good idea to tell the person you are confronting exactly what you would like them to do instead of what they have done or currently are doing. You might think, “if they loved me, they would know what to do.” That’s the voice of resentment. Assume ignorance before malevolence. No one has a direct pipeline to your wants and needs—not even you. If you try to determine exactly what you want, you might find that it is more difficult than you think. The person oppressing you is likely no wiser than you, especially about you. Tell them directly what would be preferable, instead, after you have sorted it out. Make your request as small and reasonable as possible—but ensure that its fulfillment would satisfy you. In that manner, you come to the discussion with a solution, instead of just a problem.