by: Ame-Phil O. Saquiban
As the year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on how well we have used our words. Can we recall situations where our words enlightened, encouraged and edified others? Were there instances where our responses damped a joyous atmosphere, stirred up fear and worry, altered the flow of discussion, placed others in an uncomfortable or disadvantaged position, or even shaken our relationship with family members, friends and colleagues? Were there moments, too, where we felt disturbed, worried, uncertain, or even regretted after uttering words that could have been rephrased or exercised with due restraint? Surely each of us has varied experiences and different stories to tell. Much more when we feel so convicted with Saint Paul’s admonition about “not letting unwholesome words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear”.
In various contexts, imagine the positive influence, inspiration and impact we make when words used are apt and on point. However, when careless, loose, or foul words are used, it could ruin relationships, leave others wounded, change the course of the team discussion, and a lot more could go awry. Indeed, “life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs). This shows that each of us has the power to choose to release or declare life or death.
While it is true that we can no longer take back our words once uttered, we can still choose to take responsibility of what we have said especially those moments when a gentle answer would have been more appropriate, a non-judgmental remark would have been more acceptable, and an encouraging comment would have shown more care and sensitivity. Taking responsibility for our words is non-negotiable for a person who has the resolve to walk with integrity, which is defined as “consistently adhering to moral and ethical principles” (CSC-CSI).
When we have fallen short several times of using our tongue to speak life this year, it is not too late yet. We can still take responsibility for our words. Through an honest time of reflection coupled with humility, we can acknowledge our lapses and work it out with the concerned individuals or groups. By doing so, we walk our talk and we go back to the place of wholeness.
As we strive to be men and women with integrity, taking responsibility for what we say and even how we say it does matter.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.