For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:8
Jocelyn came into the kitchen yesterday, hopping on one foot, saying “refrigerator, refrigerator, refrigerator!” When I asked her why she was chanting that, she said, “I’m saying ‘refrigerator’ so I don’t say anything bad.” Come to find out, she’d stubbed her toe and it hurt a lot. Rather than giving in and saying something she shouldn’t, she chose a random word and repeated it.
It got me thinking.
I’ve known for a long time that I’m not well spoken. Before any difficult conversation or public speaking event, I send up a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit for the right words to say. He always comes through for me.
But I’ve never turned to Him for help in preventing the wrong words from coming out. When my temper flares, I never shout out to Him to block my angry rants. Instead, when I do something wrong, or I’ve been wronged, I let it fly – especially with my kids. I end up saying some terrible things that I have to apologize for later.
I know it’s important to say the words “I’m sorry” to remove the sting of what I’ve said so I can be forgiven. But I also know that saying sorry doesn’t remove the memory of what I’ve said. The only way to not have the memory out there is to not create it in the first place.
Jocelyn has helped me see that I’ve limited the power of the Holy Spirit. He’s not just there to give me the right words to say when I need them. He’s also there to hold back the wrong ones when I’m upset.
The next time I stub my proverbial toe, I will most definitely be chanting “Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,” leaning into His power to eliminate the risk of saying what I shouldn’t.
Questions for Reflection:
- Am I guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment that I wish I didn’t?
- Have I leaned into the power of the Holy Spirit to remove the words before I say them?