Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 26, 2011

place a high value

It has happened to all of us; an unfiltered statement rolls from our tongue and can never be retrieved. Our minds are overwhelmed as we think, “how could I have said that?” I am sure you can relate with me as you remember some of your silly or hurtful, unguarded words of choice. Recently, I read some classic, “I wish I had never said that” statements quoted from Illustrations Unlimited, by James Hewett. Enjoy!

H.M.Warner of  Warner Bro. Pictures in 1927 said, “Who wants to hear actors talk?

Grover Cleveland in 1905 proclaimed, “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”

A Michigan banker advised Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in a motorcar with this classic, “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.”

For all of you Gone with the Wind fans, think about Gary Cooper’s words, “Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood’s history. I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his face and not me.”

Don’t you feel better about some of your “I can’t believe I said that” statements? Reality for each one of us is that periodically words exit our mouths unfiltered. My concern is not our silly or funny faux pas, but the selfish, hurtful and unloving comments that do harm to others. James, as he addressed believers in chapter three has a lot to say about the tongue. Two verses (v9, 10) in particular speak of our struggle.

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. My brothers, this should not be.

Even as Christ followers, we are apt to use words that deny the very life of Christ within us. Why? From my perspective, two thoughts are paramount. First, I have concluded that most of the time when speaking, we value ourselves more than the person receiving our words. When you and I place high value on our listener, our words will reflect our care. Secondly, I don’t believe we place enough emphasis on who we are internally. Filling our hearts with His Word will definitely affect our words. Reflect on Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Christ’s focus was always on the person standing in front of Him. He placed high value on them with a perfect heart. Our hearts are not perfect, but our goal should be to value our listeners with a Christ-like heart of love. Make no mistake that what we say, and how we say it affects everyone we come in contact with. Our words should always benefit those who listen to us. Sure, an unfiltered word will inevitably slip out, but placing the highest value on the person in front of us will have an undeniable effect.

I am praying that even just for today you will place a high value on each person you come into contact with. Your listening will be better, your speaking will be other-centered, and the results will be pleasing to the Father. And if it works today, rinse and repeat!

I am glad that women vote, actors speak, we have automobiles, and my wife gets to watch Gone with the Wind!  And we are so blessed to have a God who cared so deeply for us that He became fully one of us, and gave us such a clear picture of what it is to live the Christ life.  And a model for how to treat everyone with high value.  You want to win a heart and life for Christ?  Try treating them like He would, and let the Spirit do something with it.


  1. This was Awesome….my husband uses foul language and the only way I could think to respond to him was, “If you want to have a conversation with me then clean up your words”, which doesn’t reflect Christian love and puts a condition on my love. He blames his language on the people he had to deal with in his 33 yr occupation he had with the city. He is not a.Christian. Hopefully, from this, I can find the words to use to make him understand how he makes me feel.

    • Sandy,

      Thanks for your comments. You are a ambassador for Christ before your husband, and you can represent Him well. Remember that God loves your husband more than you do and wants Him come to repentance. Be patient, value your husband, never quit praying and see God use your life.


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