Watch Your Mouth!

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. - Psalm 141:3

We would all do well to pray this prayer on a regular basis.  Of all the things that cause us trouble, I'd have to say the mouth is the worst.  The snide comments.  The gossip.  The lies.  The complaints.  If we were to tally up the number of negative things that comes out of our mouth on any given day, I have no doubt we would be both amazed and ashamed.  I could go into great detail on the many "mouth sins" listed above, but today I want to talk with you about careless words.

Careless words are those that are not necessarily spoken with negative intent but are uttered before the brain has had the chance to process and examine them.  Such were the words that were spoken to me on two different occasions by two different people in the past week.

On the first occasion, the person was asking for help with a certain task.  I assured her I would do what I could to help her, but my experience and ability in that field is limited.  To which she replied, "My daughter says you can do it; you just don't want to."  Talk about keeping the door of my lips!  You have no idea how much I wanted to look up and say, "Excuse me?  Who is your daughter to say what I can and can't do, and furthermore, what business is it of hers?"  I don't believe the woman meant any harm by what she said, but her words stung nonetheless.  In a sense, whether she realized it or not, she was calling me a liar. . . and a lazy one at that.  Ouch!

The second occasion took place more recently when another woman (again, in the midst of asking a favor of me) commented, "You can do a lot more than you think you can."  Well, here we go again!  Don't you just love how everyone else seems to be more aware of my abilities than I am?  Trying my best to keep my cool after a long, stressful day, I replied, "When I'm all alone and nobody is watching, yes, I could probably do it.  But to put me in the spotlight and expect me to perform without the necessary materials is a different story.  I freeze up.  My mind draws a blank."  She laughed and rolled her eyes a bit, like "whatever."

Again, I don't think the lady meant any harm.  In fact, she is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. But here's the thing, words can do a lot of damage, especially when they're spoken without a full knowledge of what the other person is going through.  What neither of these ladies realized is that I'm dealing with extreme adrenal fatigue right now.  That means I stress out easily and because of that, I am supposed to be avoiding stressful situations.  Stressful situations like trying to accomplish things that are beyond my reach, putting myself in the spotlight, setting myself up for an embarrassing situation because I'm not up to the task, etc.  I'm not a liar, and I'm not lazy.  I'm sick, and I need rest and a reprieve from any and all situations that cause my blood pressure to spike and my heart to race.

Please understand, I'm not angry with either of these women though I admit their words stung at the time.  I will also admit that I have wounded others with my careless words in the past.  It's easy to do which is why I wanted to send out this reminder today.  Be careful what you say, or you may unwittingly hurt or offend someone.  Words are powerful and can be extremely dangerous!  For the love of your fellow man, watch your mouth!