Good job, Meg! This one certainly hits home for me! I am so quick to sometimes “react” impulsively in a situation instead of stopping to think and then act, or else be quiet. To better gain control of myself, I have begun to pray daily for the Holy Spirit to empower me to not do what I would otherwise impulsively do – I ask Him to “Set a guard over my mouth” (Psalm 141:3), and to “help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). It really does help! It also helps to remember that the word “love” as used in 1 Peter 4:8 is the Greek word “agapē”. It denotes Love in its fullest conceivable form, putting the needs of others, and consideration of the feelings of others above our own – i.e., putting others above “self” in every circumstance. Jesus commanded us, “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (agapaō – John 13:34-35 (NLT)).

Jesus said our most important responsibility in life is to love (agapaō) God (Mark 12:28-30). Jesus went on to say that our second most important responsibility in life is to love (agapaō) other people (Mark 12:31). Jesus even calls us to extend our love to our enemies! Our first thought is likely to be, “I don’t see how it is possible to “love my enemies.” But if we look at it from Jesus’ point of view and understand what He actually meant when He said, “Love (agapaō) your enemies”, and that is, “to wish well, or to have regard for the welfare of others”, then it becomes possible with the enabling help of the Holy Spirit within us – and I think this is the key to all situations in which we tend to lose self-control, like raising our voice, or saying things that hurt and tear down instead of heal and build up others. With the enabling help of the Holy Spirit within us, we can overcome this tendency to lose our patience, lose our self-control, lash out without thinking in frustration or anger with words that hurt and can have a lasting negative effect on our relationships with others, and even on their own self-esteem.

Our words should be spoken in love to correct others (like our children), and to edify and build up others, not tear them down.

BTW, I have not received a daily devotion from you since the end of last year. Is that temporary, or have you stopped doing that? I saw this post on my Facebook timeline and decided to respond to it.