This is continued from Nothing Sacred: Physical Immodesty

I have never been great at filtering my speech. I have been known to say exactly what I think, exactly when I think it. I used to see it as a strength, because others seemed to see it that way. But the ugly truth was that I was hurting people left and right with my thoughts and opinions because of my own lack of self control.

Although there is merit in honesty and being able to express ourselves, our culture has begun to label verbal immodesty as fearless self-expression. This can definitely be true, but there is profound wisdom in bridling our tongues. Freedom of speech is abused and forsaken when we use it to disrespect ourselves and others, or more simply, when we fail to be considerate. It is not brave or courageous to spout out everything we are thinking. More often, it is reckless.

The most prevalent example of this for women would be gossip, but I would like to go a little deeper than that. Like we discussed in the first article of this series, the way we treat something often reflects the value that we place upon it. We have to have as much respect for our own words as we hope others will have for them. We have to see them as vital tools necessary to fulfill our own potentials and encourage the potential that we see in others. In other words, they must become sacred.

Our ability to be effective dies a slow death when we are impulsive and overly audacious. With every hasty breath, our words lose their weight. Thoughts and opinions become white noise and we lose the voice that was once very clear. Credibility is crucial to someone that feels they have something to share. Our minds are precious, and our speech has the power to transform. We can build and we can tear down with the authority of our words and the choice is entirely ours.

If you have a gift with your ability to communicate, you have been given something priceless to steward. Manage your words the way you would manage your fortune—with discretion, prudence, and restraint. You may find that instead of stifling you, it actually frees you to speak with more authority. Otherwise, you will find yourself surrounded by deaf ears and empty relationships.

Stay tuned for the final article of this series, where we will explore how our culture of immodesty changes the way we share our stories and our feelings with the people around us.

 

Image via the-northernlight.com