The first couple of things I've been working on is watching what I think and what I say. That alone has taken a lot of effort and concentration, and I cannot tell you how many times I've had to correct myself. But, here's something interesting I noticed this week. When something negative comes to my mind, I determine not to say it and cast the thought away as quickly as I can. The funny thing is I've discovered I have a lot less to say these days. Yes, my communication has decreased drastically, and after further study, I found out that's actually a good thing. Check out these verses:
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. - Ecclesiastes 5:2
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: - James 1:19
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. - Proverbs 10:19
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. - Proverbs 17:27-28
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. - Proverbs 21:23
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. - Proverbs 13:3
And there are many more verses in the Scriptures that discuss the importance of talking less. Personally, this is new territory for me. I don't like the quiet. When I'm with someone, I feel the urge to carry on a conversation (though usually, it's one-sided when speaking with my quiet-natured husband). When we're sitting in silence, it feels like there's something wrong. I get the impression that one or both of us is angry or upset, and I can't seem to resist the urge to fill the silence. But God has been working with and helping me to spend less time talking and more time simply basking in His goodness. It hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it.
By keeping the negative thoughts out of my mind and off my lips, I have not only affected my own mood but also the mood of those around me. I have remained in a more positive frame of mind which has aided my focus, concentration and overall energy. I think we often fail to realize what a powerful impact our words have on our health and the health of those around us. I think back to the lyrics from the children's song, "Oh, be careful, little mouth, what you say!"
May our words be few today and only those that are positive and pleasing to the Lord!