It has often been said, “Sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Don’t believe that! Words have the power to build up or to tear down. Words can encourage or discourage. They have power to hurt or to heal. Words can bring joy or sorrow, laughter or tears. Words should be carefully chosen.
But words are sometimes released before we are ready. Do you ever put your foot in your mouth? Do you ever say something and wish you could take it back? Do you ever write an email or a text message and send it, and then think about it a few minutes and wish you hadn’t sent it? Sometimes we even accidentally hit the send button before we are ready to send it. That message can be embarrassing, inappropriate, and a source of frustration. Once the word is out, you can’t bring it back.
A very smart anonymous poet was quoted by my friend Jay Wolf with these words:
Boys flying kites can haul in their white-winged birds But it is not that way when you are flying words. Careful with fire is good advice we know But careful with your words, ten times doubly so. A thought unexpressed will fall back dead But God Himself cannot kill a word, once it is said.
There is help with the problem! Google has just announced that gmail will now let you undo the send process. The world’s most popular email service will let you choose a setting, Undo Send, that holds an email up to 30 seconds, if you have made a mistake or change your mind. This “holy grail of all email functions” is new this summer. It can be activated in Settings under the general tab and select “Enable.”
For human conversation I propose Redo Speak that will deal with our tongues and will help keep us from saying words that don’t need to be said and saying words that should be said. Here is how Redo Speak works. Before speaking, mentally engage Redo Speak and pray the following prayer, “Lord, please keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.” When you finish this prayer then simply follow God’s direction as to whether you ought to say what you intended to say. Redo Speak takes less than 30 seconds.
This Redo Speak that I am suggesting is far superior to the Undo Send. Redo Speak is not subject to any technological malfunction. You don’t even have to be smart to have it available to you. It will greatly improve all social relationships. It can help tame your tongue, and it will create an attitude in which we know God has His arm around our shoulder and His hand over our mouth. God’s help will last longer than 30 seconds!
James reminds us of the tongue’s tremendous power and its capacity to do good or evil. (James 3:1-8) The Redo Speak will help tame the tongue. It will help us heed James direction to be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” (James 1:19)
The Undo Send setting will not work on just any device. It has to be a smart device. The Redo Speak is available to any person, but you do have to be smart enough to let God activate it.