Bark Less, Wag More

It's amazing where I find snippets of great wisdom. I found this jewel pasted to the back of a  ladybug red Volkswagen. It was a timely reminder with biblical roots.

It made me think of the people with whom I most enjoy spending time. They are waggers, not barkers.

Every time I'm with them, I come away with an encouraging comment tucked close to my heart. Like a visit to my grandma's, where she'd always send me off with a hug and a folded up dollar bill in my pocket, I come away from interactions with these friends richer for having spent time with them.

The Bible talks about the power of our words, both for good and for evil, in Proverbs 18:21: "The tongue has the power of life and death."

 Of edifying words, it says:

"The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life" (Proverbs 15:4).

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones" (Proverbs 16:24).

 And my favorite:

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).

Sadly, despite their power, we don't always use our words for good. We complain instead of expressing thankfulness. We criticize instead of encourage. We tear down instead of build up.

We bark instead of wag.

God's word addresses our mouth's alter ego:

"Reckless words pierce like a sword" (Proverbs 12:18).

"A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day" (Proverbs 27:15).

"A fool gives full vent to his anger" (Proverbs 29:11).

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing" (James 3:9-10)

As I pondered the bumper sticker wisdom of wagging more and barking less, of using my tongue for healing instead of hurting, for encouraging instead of discouraging, I purposed anew to be the kind of person I most enjoy being around. How about you? By what type of words are you characterized? Do your husband, children, friends, and coworkers look forward to your arrival or want to run the other way? Will you join me in committing to be someone who

Barks less and wags more?

I know God will be pleased.

"From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things" (Proverbs 13:2). 

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1 comment:

  1. This may be one of my all time favorites of yours, Lori, and that's saying something since I like your writing a lot. It has made me think about barking/wagging ever since I read it. Course, there's also biting too : )
    Thanks for sharing this on B&BB. I'm praying your week is full of wagging friends and family. : )