Wait a minute. I’m Editing

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Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

James 1:19


I recently attended a leadership conference where a speaker shared a potentially angry discussion she had with her husband. At one point, when he asked for her response, she said, “Wait a minute. I’m editing.” What she said without saying was “I need to edit my initial response before I say it.”

I loved it because so many times in my relationships, I’ve said things that I wished I could take back. If I only would’ve treated my spoken language as I do my written language, I would have a lot less regrets. As a communicator with written skills, I try my best to read and reread my writings that I send out because I don’t want the receiver to misunderstand my message.

As a writer, I can’t be physically with every one of my readers to know if they get me or not. It has to be crystal clear (no pun intended) so that they will continue reading. What would be the fruit of my spoken words if I silently and reflectively edited them before they left my mouth?

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All of our relationships could benefit from mental editing before speaking. We are encouraged by James to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. In James 3:2, we learn that anyone who has mastered the art of speaking without stumbling in what they say is a perfect person, perfect in the sense of maturity and not perfect in that they never sin; obviously, all have sinned and fall short.

What we say matters, whether it’s to our spouse, children, coworkers, neighbors, or friends. We need to give a little extra thought to our words so that they will be life-giving and helpful to our hearers.

Prayer

Dear Lord, help me to carefully consider what I want to say before I say it, especially to those who are closest to me. Help me to speak life to those You put in my life. Amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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