Katie Snipes Lancaster
Scripture: James 1:19
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Spiritual Practice: Control of the Tongue
In a world of trolling and intentional provocation in online forums, it seems obvious that “control of the tongue” could be a graceful and vital spiritual practice. Sometimes saying nothing, even when saying something would feel good, is the right thing to do.
Discerning when to speak and when to remain quiet is a daily question: is it gossip to share with one friend that xyz happened to your other friend? Or does that knowledge help all of you care for your friend better? Does silence in your home lead to peace or does it signal disfunction? Did you grow up in a household where you could be brutally honest with one another? Or did you have to beat around the bush?
We all know what “control of the tongue” might mean for us. There is a sort of internal compass that we’ve long developed about when to speak up and when to be quiet. What does this spiritual practice of “controlling your tongue” bring up for you?
Holy God, speak within us
So that we may speak.
Give us disciplined silence when we need it
So that we might be part of the balm
and healing of all that is hard.
Give us your spirit of discernment,
So that we might know how to live,
Through your sacred nudges.