What comes out of our mouths.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

I realized something nasty about myself the other day. I caught it when I was having a conversation with someone at work. We were talking about something ministry related (kind of proves my point that I can't remember what it was). And the whole way through, I think maybe six or seven times, I brought up the bike ride I was gearing up for. I was pretty proud of myself for all the work I was doing (still am in fact), but I walked away from that conversation thinking "Man, I must think I'm cool."

I didn't like it one bit!

After some deep introspection and examination, I realized that I had a couple of other tricks to get you guys to make me feel pretty cool:

1. Make jokes about myself. This does one of two things: It either beats you to the punch of making fun of me, so that I can control the impact, or it makes people give me a compliment to balance the joke out. Either way, I make fun of myself, and you make me feel better. I am a jerk.

2. Make every story about me. Dang, I am good at this one. You might be telling me about something deep and personal in your life, something that takes incredible bravery to share with someone, and I will take every opportunity given to me to share some trivial story about me that makes me look cool. I am a big jerk.

3. I write a blog. I am a colossal jerk.

Then I read the passage above, and I started to think through a beautiful world. What if everything I said wasn't meant to make me look cool, but was meant to make other people feel good about themselves? What if every comment that came out of my mouth lifted my friends up, rather than lifted me up? What if when I asked someone how they were doing, I actually cared what their answer was rather than just using it as a means to get them to ask about me?

I've been trying this for about a month now, and truthfully, I'm not very good at it yet. I walk away from conversations thinking "Dang it...could have done that better!" But truthfully, just trying to keep it on the front of my mind helps.

How much time and energy do you dedicate to thinking about what you say? Am I alone in feeling this way, or is it a more common experience?

Share away!