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Mouthy Girl

April 20, 2008

“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…”

So, I’ve always been a big mouth. But I usually think long and hard before I speak. I also think long and hard before I e-mail someone — especially if it’s a touchy topic. And I’m a passionate person, so I often communicate passionately. Plus I care deeply about other people.

That’s all good stuff right? Well, even though I’m passionate, considerate and thoughtful my big mouth gets me in trouble — especially via e-mail.

Some of my good friends know that over the past few months I’ve had some heated discussions over the Internet. And even though I thought a long time about what I was going to say, tried really hard to be considerate of the other person by being diplomatic and stressed that most of the issues were my feelings not some sort of absolute truth that I was declaring I still hurt some folks.

This morning in church the pastor was reading from James (and Matthew) and talking about the tongue being a rudder. Throughout the sermon I just kept thinking great — me and my big mouth. Even when I try to be careful I steer myself into some deep and dangerous waters.

I hate the book of James — it kicks my but every time I read it. And it’s so frustrating because I’ do try to deal with these tongue issues. Ever since I was 12 and I realized that I was good at manipulating people. Or when I was in an abusive relationship and I didn’t tell anyone. Or when I had a chance to offer hope to a suicidal friend.

I really am conscientious and careful about what I say, who I say it to and how I say it. But still, from time to time, I leave hurt feelings in my wake.

And it really hit me this morning when the pastor read the passage, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…” that maybe, even though I’m careful about what I say, maybe it isn’t the words — it’s the source of the words. Something is wrong with my heart.

This isn’t a new concept to me. Christianity is all about getting your heart right and I’ve been involved with Christianity for 20 years now. But for some reason — even though I know fixing your heart is the whole point of church — it always hurts when I realize it again so starkly.

It also sucks because, although I think some of the hurt I caused with my words was needed and a result of righteous anger, I don’t know where some of it came from. I don’t know which part of my heart is broken. Which means I don’t even know how to pray to God to fix it. I just have to say an unspecific, “help.”

That’s really difficult for me because in some ways I’m very practical. How can you treat a sickness if you don’t know what causes it? Even alcoholics have to name their problem before they can start to recover.

So maybe this will be enough for my first step: My name is Crystal, and I have a problem with my mouth because I have a problem with my heart.

I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you recently with my words. If you need to talk about it, please let me know.

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