Excerpt from my book
The Shut Up Book
A 40 Day Biblical Approach to Controlling Your Mouth
1 Corinthians 1:17
… Not in cleverness of speech…
Oh, they said it. They pushed a button and you have the words ready to slam them. They have never heard what you’re going to unleash on them.
Stop and put the brakes on your mouth. Your well articulated “put down” isn’t going to do any good.
One, you’re clever and superior vocabulary is going to go right over their heads. Second, they aren’t even listening, because they are thinking of what they are going to say next.
The whole point of the hassle you’re getting yourself into is to communicate your wants and needs. A verbal battle of one up-man-ship isn’t doing either of you any good. Speak simply and slowly and with forethought.
Listen to your fellow combatant and respond to what they are saying no matter how harsh. Respond with simple words and phrases that can be understood above the heat of the moment. If you’re right, hopefully that’s the case, stand your ground. Repeat your argument in simple terms.
You’re clever turn of a phrase will only incite more vicious retorts and aggravate the situation all the more. You don’t have to be clever to be understood.
- So much of what we see and hear is about clever put downs and face offs. Stay away from that game. It is a game and nobody wins.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Understand more than you strive to be understood. Read the prayer of St. Francis.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen