If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

We’ve all heard the saying, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. We are told that as kids, but it seems like adults today have forgotten the importance of that simple little phrase.

It is easy to allow our own internal pain spill over onto others. Remember what I said a couple of weeks ago? “Hurting people hurt people.” That’s why I wanted to take a moment to encourage you to ask yourself tough questions in my last blog. (If you missed it, you can find it here.)

Controlling your tongue is especially important if you are a Christian. Wearing that name means we should reflect Christ. What comes out of our mouths can potentially affect someone else’s view of our savior if we aren’t careful.

If we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we should be producing the fruit that represents HIM. In John 15:5-6, Jesus said: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

What comes out of our mouth is fruit, good or bad. Are you words sweet and refreshing? Or are they rotten and bitter?

Let’s focus on fruit from the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Before you speak, ask yourself- is what I’m about to say encouraging? Is it helpful? Is it coming from a place of love and understanding? Is it true? If the answer to these questions is no, then maybe there is some reevaluation needing to be done.

So how do you handle a difficult person? Well, I always resort to another old-fashioned saying: “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

Truly try to put yourself in another person’s situation, whatever that may be. You may say “I would never do the things that person did!” While that may be true, I imagine at one point or another in your life, you may have done or said some things that others would never understand.

Try to think of a time when someone extended you grace and patience. At one point or another, even as kids, we made mistakes. How would you want someone to respond to you if you were in a difficult situation? One of the most amazing people in my life was my grandma. She always extended grace and forgiveness to me when I did boneheaded things. Of course, she did raise six children, 5 boys and 1 girl, practically on her own, so it’s no wonder why she was so patient! I try to think back to her and how she handled herself in difficult situations.

Friend, do not think for one second that I have perfected the art of controlling my tongue. I’m better than I used to be, but I often make mistakes. Maybe you have better control than I do. This week’s blog is not meant to make assumptions or point fingers but is simply meant to be thought-provoking. We should always strive to improve ourselves in every area, big and small, so that we can help lead people to Christ through our actions.


Thank you for the grace you extend to us although we do nothing to deserve it. Help us extend that same grace to others who need it the most.

Teach us to act like Jesus would in a difficult situation. Help our tongues be fruitful instead of bitter. Remind us that YOU are the vine and we are the branches, and without you we can do nothing.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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