Resolved: To Use My Words For God’s Glory
The great pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote up a series of resolutions regaring his personal life and behavior. These resolutions relate to the tongue:
31. Resolved, Never to say anything at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against any one, to bring it to, and try it strictly by, the test of this Resolution.
34. Resolved, In narrations never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
36. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call to it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.
The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 2 vols., edited and corrected by E. Hickman; Banner of Truth.
What Attracts us to Our Spouse Sometimes Also Can Drive Us Nuts
My husband says my ability to talk is what first attracted him to me. He loved how I could work a room, making the shy ones feel included. I could converse with the college president and yuck it up with the grocery store bag boy all in the same afternoon. Yep. My college sweetheart loved how I could talk. So this rather shy guy bought a ring, slipped it on my finger, grabbed my hand, and off we proceeded down the church aisle and into marital bliss.
My proficiency at all things linguistic hadn’t bothered him before. In fact, he had felt it was an asset. I talked and talked. He smiled and listened. And it really didn’t seem to bother him. Then, about three days into our honeymoon, he had this thought: “When is she ever gonna shut up?”
In fact, if I make it to heaven before he does, he’s decided just what should go on my tombstone: A period. Ask him why, and he’ll declare, “Well, she’ll finally be done yacking!” (He insists my language has no periods — just commas, colons, and semicolons — because there’s always more to come!)
Karen Ehman, Keep It Shut, 2015, p. 45, Zondervan.
Why He Talked
The writer and diplomat Henry Adams enjoyed spending time with his teenage niece Gabrielle. One time will visiting her, they sat together for a long time in the study following dinner. Henry began to pontificate on a whole host of topics, which ranged from the world, to the nature of God and humanity, and his own hopes and disappointments in life. He went on and on for some time until he abruptly broke off, and took a moment to think. “Do you know why I have told you all this?” He finally asked her. “It is because you would not understand a word of it and you will never quote me.”
Stuart Strachan Jr., Source Material provided by Clifton Fadiman, Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes
Words of a Feather
A young woman confessed to an older man that she had a problem saying too much about people. He told her to go buy a bird and pluck out its feathers one by one as penance for her sin. When she returned and told the man that she had followed his instructions, he said, “Now go back and pick up all the feathers.” “I can’t do that,” said the girl.
“The wind has blown them in all directions.” “That is true,” said the wise man. “Neither can you recall the words that you have spoken.” Need an additional picture of how impossible it is to take back something once you’ve said it? Squeeze a tube of toothpaste and then try to put the toothpaste back in. It’s nearly impossible to do. And it’s the same with our negative words once they’ve found their way out of our mouths.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our quotes page on Speech. Don’t forget, sometimes a great quote is an illustration in itself!