Written By: Timmy Smith
Former US President Harry Truman had a rule: Any letter written in anger had to sit on his desk for 24 hours before they could be mailed. If at the end of that “cooling off” period, he had still felt the same sentiments, he would send the letter. By the end of his life, Truman’s unmailed letters filled a large desk drawer.
How often in this age of immediate communication would even 24 minutes of wise restraint would spare us of embarrassment! James addressed a universal theme in human history when he wrote about the damage an uncontrolled tongue can bring. “No man can tame the tongue,” he wrote. “It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)
When we’re gossiping or speaking in anger, we find ourselves in a world of mess. Our tongues, our pens, and even our keyboards more often should fall silent, and we should focus on our hearts to have restraint. All to often, when we speak we remind everyone of our brokenness as human beings. “The fruit of righteousness is down in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:18).
When we want to surprise others by making a difference, we may need to look no further than restraining our tongues. Others can’t help but notice when we honor each other with what we say-or don’t say. “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23).
This is one of our new self-help resources available to our Ambassador community. Here we will feature the thoughts, questions, and insight of the our fellow Ambassadors. You can even leave comments of encouragement or feedback to fellow Ambassadors that may be having a tough time.