Harvest time opens up the landscape just in time to see the trees display their radiant colors. It is truly a beautiful time of year. Harvest time, however, is rough on my sinuses. I’m getting better at managing it but there’s usually some point where it’s best on my throat to be silent as much as possible. I carefully sift out the most important things to say and say it in as few words as possible. This is always a good time to reflect on how I’m using my voice. Are my words worth saying? Do they build and encourage or are they empty? Was I telling someone something encouraging or was I giving a useless fact? Worse yet are the damaging words that don’t need to be said. I’m reminded I don’t need to say everything that flies through my head. Instead, I put II Corinthians 10:5 into practice by “taking every thought captive” to line up with God’s Word.
Choosing your words wisely is not just about what not to say but also what to say. I realize there are times I should speak up but don’t. I found myself thinking how dear some people are to me then realized I don’t know if I have ever told them so. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told them of the beauty I see in them. I’m not big on small talk, I like to get to the meat of a subject, but sometimes the smallest phrase can encourage someone and show them God’s love.
Being choosy in using my voice also makes me a better listener. I’m more intentional to look at who is speaking to me, like my children, so they know I’m listening – even in the midst of multitasking. Then I wonder why I don’t do that normally. It takes such little time.
Though I don’t enjoy having a sore throat or losing my voice it always makes me reevaluate what I’m saying and why. I’m reminded of what a gift it is to have a voice and be free to speak. That’s a good reminder for all of us. Also, when I get better, I have a renewed boldness with a sense of purpose and meaning.
Sing to the LORD, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Psalm 96:2