Don't Say That

When she was young, Frances began to say uncomplimentary things about someone while visiting with an older Christian woman. The lady stopped her with these words, "If you can't say something good about that person, don't say anything."

Frances never forgot those words and made them a motto for her life, carefully guarding her words until it became her habit never to criticize another. She excused those whom others would condemn with such comments as, "They probably didn't mean it the way it sounded." She seemed to always think well of others. She once told me that when she was tempted to think critical thoughts of others, she would tell herself, "No! No! No!"

Frances was my mother, and what a blessing it was to grow up being encouraged to always think the best of others.

"The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). Words have enormous power and they penetrate a person's spirit. God wants us to view our words as words of value, words that will make a difference to those who hear us. 

Help me, Lord, to guard my words so that those who hear me are encouraged to believe good of others.

"My mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief" (Job 16:5)."She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness" (Proverbs 31:26)."The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil" (Proverbs 15:28)."A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).