Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Hope for When You Can’t Control Your Tongue


Hope for when you can't control your tongue

There’s a Salt Water Woman lurking inside of me, and she comes out at the darnedest times. Like last Saturday afternoon when we were driving around White Rock Lake looking for T.P. Hill. For an hour. Friends invited us to a picnic, but my husband, heaven help him, left the directions at home. The GPS went haywire, and we didn’t have the host’s phone number.

Salt Water Woman whined:  “It would have been great to get a phone number.” She used sarcasm: “Hopefully we’ll make it there by nightfall.”

I immediately regretted my words. You see, I don’t want to be a Salt Water Woman. I want to be a Fresh Water Woman.

Hope for fresh water scripture

Have you ever taken a big drink of salty water when you’re dying of thirst? It tastes terrible and makes you sick. In contrast, fresh water tastes great, quenches thirst and brings life.

The Salt Water Woman spews out complaints and criticism.

Just like the drippy faucet wife of Proverbs, she tears her husband down bit by bit and snaps at the kids. She spouts off irritation when she’s tired or frustrated, and she keeps running on empty when the water level in her well is dangerously low.

The Fresh Water Woman speaks blessing and encouragement.

Her words offer life, love, and hope. She’s generous in speaking words that build others up. She gives the benefit of the doubt to her poor husband when he does things like leave the directions at home. Fresh Water Woman also knows when to keep her mouth shut, and when to take a break because her well is running dry.

I want to be a Fresh Water Woman, but salty words keep coming out.

The good news for Salt Water women is that Jesus offers us grace and forgiveness. And an invitation. An invitation to come and drink, so that our wells will be filled.

Hope for spring of water welling up

Jesus promises to give generously of His Spirit to all who come to Him. As He fills us, we’re empowered to speak generous words out of hearts full of good treasure. We’re equipped to speak love and encouragement.

How do we keep our salty words in check?

  1. We repent when we fail, and we step back into the Holy Spirit’s flow for cleansing and renewing
  2. Fresh Water Women spend time with Jesus.
  3. We take breaks to avoid depleting our wells.
  4. We return to the Source of Fresh Living Water again and again to receive grace.

Grace, encouragement, and an invitation from Jesus for those who need help controlling their words.

The more we respond to Jesus’ invitation, the more He fills and empowers us to be generous-spirited women who speak Fresh Water words to those around us. Let’s draw near to Him. May our words bring life today!

Now it’s your turn: Do you have salt water tendencies? Know anyone who could use some Fresh Water words today?

Joining in with Suzanne Eller’s #livefreeThursday. Suzie’s prompt was “a generous spirit.” Also linking with Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace and Truth, and Dance with Jesus.  Check out these communities for more encouragement.

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

41 thoughts on “Hope for When You Can’t Control Your Tongue

  1. This is such a creative presentation of the age-old problem. I identified so much with you on your drive and your efforts to JUST NOT SAY IT! One thing I have learned in this battle with the tongue is that when I’m VERY tired, I try to be aware of it and to say to myself, “No opinions this evening. Don’t weigh in on anything. You won’t be happy with your words.” If I can get ahead of myself and let God the Holy Spirit have half a chance, He does come through.

    • I’m sure you’ve been on drives like that too, Michele! Thanks for sharing that self talk: “No opinions this evening.” Great advice. If we give the Holy Spirit half a chance, He comes through!

  2. Earlier this morning I listened to Toby Mac’s, Speak Life 🙂 So funny to read a post on this very topic – the words we speak. May I be alert today.

  3. Yes, yes, Betsy. Sarcasm and a critical spirit so easily lurk within. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

    We’re in constant need of a spiritual heart transplant. Lord, help us!

  4. Wow. Recognizing myself here today! Thanks for speaking these words of encouragement and instruction. I need to constantly be reminded that I need refreshing by the water of the Word to be able to pour out refreshing on others. Hugs to you, Betsy!

  5. Sigh. I suppose we all have salt water tendencies inside of us. But yes, I wish I could speak fresh water words all the time instead. Your 4 ways to keep our negativity in check are good. Doing #1 right now…. Thanks, Betsy.

  6. Can I ever relate to what you’ve said here, Betsy. Not just salt water — in the past 2 days, in moments of frustration, I may actually have been breathing fire a few times. Whew. So thanks for your 4 pieces of counsel, especially the first one: I need forgiveness and grace so often.

    • Oh Jeannie, believe me, I get the breathing fire part. Why did I write this post? Because I’ve been struggling with it too friend! Yes, let’s get that forgiveness and grace.

  7. Oh Betsy, my family is often the unfortunate recipient of my Salt Water Woman words. I can honestly say I’ve gotten better and taming my tongue, but she still comes out from time to time, especially when I’m tired and stressed. Thanks for letting me know we’re in this together, and there’s grace when we fail. So thankful his mercies are new every morning.

    • I’m so glad you’re growing i this area. You know, I think I might be too? Just writing this post helped me be more careful! I’m thankful for those new mercies too. And that fountain of living water.

  8. Betsy,
    How appropriate to call that self “salt water woman”. She shows up in my house too. Probably because I don’t hold my tongue and actually think before something comes spilling out. Thank you for the reminders to go where my well can be replenished with fresh water so that it, not salt water, will spill from my lips!!

  9. Oh, yes, that salt water woman lives in this house quite often and I don’t like it. And no one else does either. Oh, my— the tongue is so little but so powerful. I want to make it a good friend and not a bad friend.
    Thanks for the wonderful example.
    Love you, Betsy.

  10. It made me think of the many times I am that salt water woman when I face the struggles and difficulties of having left my country and family to learn to leave in a new culture. I want to praise God for His wonderful plan to me by bringing John, my husband, into my life. He is the reason why God brought me here. He was the answer to my prayer.

    • Yes, Adriana, that’s the positive way to look at it when you feel frustrated by living in a different culture. (I know the struggles.) Good to remember that your wonderful husband, a gift from God, is who got you into all of this! Praising God for you and your witness at work.

  11. Oh Betsy, I have missed your hilarious and very inspirational posts! Thank God I am on academic break now!
    Your title made me giggle. I couldn’t wait to plunge into who the salty woman was *I am still laughing*

    Gal I have been there and back.

    Thank you for making my time here worth every bit of it.
    God Bless and Have a great weekend Betsy.

  12. Betsy, as usual your words spoke right to my spirit! Yes, too many times my salty words have come out, leaving me and everyone around me feeling downcast. I’m so thankful for God’s grace, and how He continues to gently teach me about the power of words. My prayer today is that we can all take a step forward with this lesson today. I want to be a fresh water woman! Thanks, friend:)

  13. I’m salty more often than I’d like to admit… Help me, Lord, to be filled with Your living water so that that’s what will flow from my mouth. Great post, Betsy. Thank you!

  14. Salt is my humor….and my frustration….been praying about this. Well-timed, given my tongue yesterday. Thanks Betsy for the conviction but also the encouragement and tips. His grace wins! #DanceWithJesus

  15. This is awesome. I love the analogy of the salt water woman and fresh water woman. I can wrap my brain around this all too well. Great words to carry me through the weekend.

  16. I love this post, Betsy! I pray that I will always be a fresh water woman! Thank you for sharing such an awesome word, beautiful friend! GOD bless you! 🙂

  17. Thanks for a great post – very challenging! I will be praying along with you to be a more fresh water than salt water…
    My only question is: did you get to the picnic in the end 😉

    • Let’s grow together in this area, Bee. I certainly need it! We actually did make it to the picnic. We stopped and asked several people while we drove around the very large city recreation area (40 or 50 square km easy). We finally found one who actually knew where the place was!

  18. Betsy,
    What an amazing analogy. I used to spew salt water all the time. Now I am more cautious and usually the Holy Spirit will immediately correct me – and IF I am listening I can apologize. But if I am not listening then I have to feel the effects until I do.
    Thanks for a great post. I would love if you linked this post to Word of God Speak.

    I found you at Tai East’s Faith’n Friends.

  19. Hey Betsy,
    Love this post! I have always considered myself to have a quick wit and a sharp tongue but I learned just how hurtful the tongue can be. Now I am slow to respond or try to be humble enough to not need the last word all the time! Thank you for sharing the advice on how to keep your tongue less “salty”. I need to put in practice all four! Thanks again for sharing your wisdom from the heart. Have a wonderful week and blessings to you and yours!

  20. Thank you so much for the tips of keeping our salty words in check. God knows I need to use them. Great insights.

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