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I waited too long after the light turned green and the guy behind me honked and flipped me off.  I immediately turned angry but I managed to not embarrass myself by doing something stupid.  I wondered though, as the guy pulled around me shouting obscenities through closed windows, what makes us speak so unkindly for no reason at all.

 The Bible says, in Colossians 3:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to respond to each person.”

Speaking graciously is a simple thing to do.  All it requires is that we consider others before ourselves.  What a novel thing to do!  If you want to get along with others, then consider them before you consider yourself.  If you want others to speak well of you, then do not give them reason to think badly of you.

Another Bible verse, Ephesians 4:29 says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

 When my kids were much younger I often tried to help them with their speech by having them consider three questions before they spoke inappropriately:  Is what they want to say true?  Is it kind?  And, is it necessary?  If they got “no” for an answer, then they needed to stay quiet.

 The other day I came across a little card that presented the following:

“THINK” before you speak!

 “T”        Is it True?

 “H”        Is it Helpful?

 “I”          What is the Intent?

 “N”        Is it Necessary?

 “K”         Is it Kind?

 All of us would be happier if we managed our speech more effectively.  Think before you speak especially when you are angry.  It might be me in the car in front of you!

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