Open mouth . . . insert foot. Don’t we all wish we could avoid that scenario?
"Dads: sarcasm will not make your sons tougher, but it will make it tougher for you to build a relationship with them later." —Andy Stanley
Part 1 - Quick to Listen (Andy Stanley)
We all know what it’s like to be hurt by someone who just couldn’t listen long enough to understand us. Maybe in their attempt to be right, they damaged a relationship that could have been saved with a little patience and curiosity. You’ve probably been on the other side of that coin too. Taking the verbal offense may have won the argument, but you lost relationally. What if we didn’t settle for being right, but tried to make things right instead? The longer we listen, the more we learn, and the better chance we have of protecting ourselves from our own big mouths.
"Don’t settle for being right. Make things right." —Andy Stanley
"The longer you listen, the more you’ll learn." —Andy Stanley
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." —@StephenRCovey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
"Being quick to listen and slow to speak is easier said than done, but it’s always worth it." —Andy Stanley
Part 2 - Untamable (Andy Stanley)
Like a small spark that has the potential to scorch an entire green forest, our tongues are untamable, with the power to control our whole bodies. We have a tool that can be used to build up those around us or tear them down in just a few words. What do we do with that kind of power? We can’t lock it away. But we can, by God’s grace, learn to control it.
"If you start a fire with your words accidentally, you are still responsible for the fire you started accidentally." —Andy Stanley
"Our lives have been shaped by the words spoken to us, over us, and about us." —Andy Stanley
"You are a very powerful person because words are the most powerful thing anybody can wield. Remember that." —Andy Stanley
"Your mouth cannot be tamed, it can only be guarded. But by God’s grace and some thoughtfulness on your part, it can be controlled." —Andy Stanley
Part 3 - According to Code (Andy Stanley)
Our big mouths can be destructive, but they also have the power to build others up. What we say can impact the quality, and even the direction, of the lives of the people around us. How can we use this power for good?
"Sarcasm doesn’t build anything but resentment." —Andy Stanley
"Speak unto others as God in Christ has spoken over you." —Andy Stanley
"Bitterness requires forgiveness. Giving someone from the past what they don’t deserve so we can give those around us what they do deserve." —Andy Stanley
Part 4 - According to Code (Andy Stanley)
What goes around often comes around. The powerless often find themselves in a position of power and the people who hurt us may someday need us. In the moments when we’ve got those people right where we want ‘em, what we say will say as much about us as anything else. If our words are stones, will we choose to throw them, or use them to pave the way forward?
"Forgiveness: Giving people in our past what they don’t deserve, so I can give the people in my present what they do deserve." —Andy Stanley"
"Bad things have been happening to good people for a long time. God has been with good people in bad times for a long time." —Andy Stanley
"What do you do when you’ve got the power and your words determine the destiny of your enemy? It depends on what you did with your bitterness and your anger." —Andy Stanley
"You will never experience the good that comes from the bad unless you recognize that God was with you in the bad and then refuse to play God when things are good." —Andy Stanley
"What will you do when you’ve got the power and your words determine the destiny of your enemy? Pay them back? or Pave the way forward?" —Andy Stanley