Monday, May 30, 2011

Shut Up!

In the princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews there is a piece of dialog that goes something like this:

Queen Renaldi: You are a princess of Genovia.
Mia: Me, a princess? (Screams) SHUT UP!
Queen Renaldi: I beg your pardon, “Shut up”?
Consulate matre’D: Oh, your majesty, in America, it doesn’t always mean to be quiet. Here it could mean “Wow, gee whiz, golly wolly”…

The title of this blog is “Shut up!” and I am not talking about the kind going on in the conversation above.

I really mean, Shut Up! As in: close your trap, be quiet, hush up, shut yo mouth dog (PC…how was that?), zip your lip, button it up, nip it, put a cork in it, enough already, fermer la bouche etc.

Do you realize how much power your words hold? Do you realize there is the power of life and death, in the tongue?

Your words can be used to build someone up…or tear someone down.

It wasn’t long ago that God started dealing with me on closing my mouth. I would say the past three years I have been fairly successful at this mandate.

I have met so many women who have problems “shutting up” and thinking about things before spewing the first thing that comes to mind, especially around our husbands. And our excuse for this is “He’s my husband, I should be able to speak my mind. He’ll love me anyway.”

Do yourself a favor. Do not respond. Think. Ask yourself. Am I being emotional? Am I expecting too much? Consider your response before you respond. Consider your heart. Matthew 12:34 reads, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Ponder these things, then speak without strong emotion and rashness. Your words will have a greater impact.

Two Christmas’ ago, when my brother called to tell me that he was no longer going to be spending a few days with our family as was planned, and was going to stop for a short visit because he made other plans, I didn’t say anything. I had made plans, took off work etc. and instead of “reacting” I chose to be quiet. He hung up on me and I haven’t heard from him since. While shutting my mouth has gotten me in trouble on occasion, opening my mouth and letting my first reaction control my tongue has gotten me in a lot more trouble over the years.

When we choose to use our tongue to lie, gossip, slander, belittle, shame, put down, abuse, deceive, trick etc., we chose to reach into a person’s chest and cut a little piece of their heart out. We leave them bleeding and dying. We leave them lying on the butcher block fully exposed for the next attack, open and vulnerable.

I have been lied to, gossiped about, belittled, shamed, abused and deceived. It hurt. I can still remember words from years past, whether intentional or unintentional it matters not, that still hurt me to the core.

When we choose to build up, exhort, encourage, bless, honor, praise, be kind, be considerate, speak truth to someone, we choose to love. Not sloppy agoppy (agape) love (love that only wants to make people feel good), as my pastor put it last week in Bible study. But, a real agape love that chooses truth because of our desire to see mankind have a true relationship with Christ, and see the Christ in us.

Ephesians 4:29 states this: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 21:23 “Who ever keeps his mouth and his tongue, keeps himself out of trouble.”

I have had to apologize for words spoken. I came to the point that I realized the only way to keep myself out of that humbling place, was to control what I said in the first place.

How about you? Have you been the recipient of unkind words? Has your tongue got you into trouble? Leave a comment and I’ll draw a name to win a copy of the message I gave to a group of women entitled, “Pleasant, and Full of Grace.”


  1. This is so true. We must watch our words and get a hold on our tongues.

    It's funny, we always remember someone's last words to us before they died...or they left out the door for good...or hung up the phone on us.
    Some words sting forever. Some words make us gitty with joy.

    I would hope that I always leave someone with last words of love or caring.

    Great post!

  2. Thanks Loree...and yes, it is true. We do remember words...sometimes more than we remember actions.

  3. AMEN! I've had to learn the hard way to keep my mouth shut. EXCELLENT POST! Now those are good words! ;)

  4. How true! I still remember the last time I spoke with my sister...she hung up on me and we haven't spoken since (and it's been years). She tried goading me into an argument via email when my book first came out, but I practiced what you're preaching here...I kept my mouth shut (and my fingers away from the keyboard).

  5. i love this post. i went through a season where i felt justified to talk about what was happening to me... but in no way was it edifying the individuals that had their mouths on me. it was my excuse to express my hurt. but God... revealed to me my error and other things. i made it right and now i speak life.. even unto those that persecute me. life creates life in my life. i had to learn that in that season. i bless God for it. but love the post.