It is quit amazing that one of the smallest parts of the body, the tongue, can have such a powerful impact on us and others. The number of Proverbs and statements about the tongue are vast.
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21)
- A soothing tongue is the tree of life (Prov. 12:25)
- The tongue is mightier then the sword ( ok I know its,pen, but the pen just writes what the tongue would have said )
Even though the tongue physically speaks the words it is the heart that creates the words before they are spoken. Luke 6 :45 ”A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Since it is the heart that produces the words we use and the way we use them then we really need to solve the heart issues to become a true encourager to others. You see what happens is we are living our life and words are spoken to us and about us. Those words have a great effect on our view of ourselves. We will start to build up protective layers around the fear in our heart that we are trying to protect. As we speak, our words are affected by those layers. When we build up enough layers we begin to speak from the layers instead off from our core self. This can lead to creating blind spots. These blind spots are areas that we don’t even recognize as causing issues in our life.
Let me give you a personal example of how layers affect your life. My mom and dad were divorced when I was eight years old. Not having a father figure produced some protective layers that I did not recognize until my 40′s. Not having a father or any other male role model created a fear of acceptance in me. Now to protect that fear, I built up a layer of toughness and anger. I was always noticing people that I thought were looking at me funny, reacting because of what I did ( lets use driving on the highway :) or talking about me. All of these were rooted in my fear of male acceptance. I know this is true because one of my friends had the same issue and we were always looking for a fight. One of my other friends didn’t have this fear ( layers ) and always thought me and my other friend were crazy. By the way, he did have a great relationship with his father. I think the layers we create are manifested based on our personality traits. Choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic, sanguine. The choleric’s layers become aggressive or angry; the melancholy becomes sarcastic or introverted; the phlegmatic becomes stubborn or recluse; the sanguine becomes goofy or unaware of whats going on around them. These are just some of the layers I have witnessed but there can be many more. As these layers develop we start to hear everything filtered through those layers and speak from those layers. Both situations will make it more difficult to build great relationships with people. You have all experienced these conversations. You say something to someone and there reply back to you has nothing to do with what you just said. Now you have layers also and so you reply back with something that has nothing to do with what that person says. Example, I was getting physical therapy and had to lay there and witness a half hour conversation about NOTHING! I thought I was going to go nuts. Started off with ” My husband took me to that new restaurant” “Did you hear there is a food poison break out” ”My son was sick two weeks ago” “I think I’m going to train for a race.” “I just don’t like working out” both ladies were going back and forth and never acknowledged once what the other person said. That was when I started praying that God would seal their lips shut. God didn’t answer that prayer so I was forced to endure. You see the problem with speaking from layers is that it means we aren’t really hearing the other person we are trying to achieve a desire of our own.
A desire may be defined as something wanted that cannot be obtained without the cooperation of another person. It is an objective for which a person can assume no responsibility, because it is beyond their control. Reaching a desire must never become the motivating purpose behind behavior, because then a person is assuming responsibility for something he cannot fullfill on his own. Encouragement by Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan alexander
Think about it for a minute. The person that is best to talk to is probably the person in your life that has the fewest fears that they are trying to protect. The less fears they have the less layers they have. They can hear what you are saying, without filtering it through layers, and when they speak they are speaking from their core, not their layers. When people speak from their layers their words seem like they are coated with the film of the desire they are trying to fulfill. Some speak trying to make you feel worse about yourself so they can feel better, some speak in a way that they are fishing for compliments, others speak in tones that imply to leave them alone, some speak in a way to try to convince you they know what they are talking about. The list goes on and on but when you hit that person that doesn’t have layers it is like a breath of fresh air. So how do we fix this.
The real key to fixing this is to eliminate the fears. Once you eliminate the fear the layers go with it. A lot of people try to fix these layers with technique or skill. They will read books on how to improve their people skills but the core fear is still there and so their protective layers just change to a different type of protective layer. Reading and self analysis can work but very few people are skilled enough to identify their own fears and layers. The best way to identify and change them is by mentoring with someone who can help you see what you cant see. I have been very blessed to have two mentors (Orrin woodward – Life founder and Chris Brady – Life founder) that have helped me eliminate some of mine. Once you have done this process you are now able to help others identify their fears, grow, and become better. I wish you the best of luck on this very important subject.