Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Some people are born fighters. I am most assuredly not one of those. When I find myself in the throws of conflict, my tongue falls silent. It becomes cement in my mouth and fails to respond to my commands.
Today I read Psalm 12. Here David contemplates the power of speech. He notes too often it is used inappropriately - lies, false flattery and boasts. The words of man stand in direct contrast to God's words. His are flawless (verse 6).
No doubt my inability to make a verbal argument has saved me from regret. It has also, however, prevented me from giving the gift of an opposing point of view. When my tongue becomes paralyzed I remind myself as if I'm a toddler to use my words. If I stop and pray eventually the words come - words which bring wisdom instead of wreckage.
To invite God into my conflict communication style, I must put up new road signs:
- The Stop Sign - A stop sign is not a permanent destination. It is a pause on the trip. It is time to evaluate what's coming, consider options and make choices. At the stop sign I pray.
- The Yield - A yield is an act of humility. I allow the other to go first and honor them with my discipline. At the yield I put others first.
- The Right of Way - The right of way signals my turn. As I tune into God, He gives me the freedom to express myself in a manner that honors Him. At the right of way I lovingly speak what's on my heart.