Speak No Evil

I have found by sun down, often the resolves I made early in the morning have gotten trampled by the rush and stress of the day.

James 1:22-25 describes my situation well:  “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

I want to be a doer of the Word. The question is, how do I be a doer and not just a hearer? A Commitment that Has Changed My Life got me thinking about how I could practically take steps to being a doer and not just a doer want-to-be (aka a hearer).

So here’s what I read in my Bible this morning:

“Do not speak evil against one another.” James 4:11

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Eph 4:29

And here’s my commitment.

For the rest of the week I will only speak words that are good for building others up, fit the occasion and give grace to those who hear.  I will speak no evil about anyone to anyone.

What are evil words?  Words that stem from selfish ambition (wanting what I want), jealousy (wanting what others have), a critical or prideful (arrogant, boasting) heart. To me this means  extending compassion, kindness and love regardless. I choose not to act like I am God, determining whether or not they deserve it.

My children are asleep and my husband is at work, so far so good.  I’m sure it will get more challenging once I have to actually talk to people.  I’ll probably mess this up more than I get it right.  My plan is to apologize and move on.  The goal isn’t to hole myself up in my room for the next 6 days, or to take an oath of silence, but to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer.

My goal is to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.

I picked the end of the week, because that’s measurable and doable.  If I said I would never speak evil about anyone ever, I suspect my good intentions would quickly be forgotten.  A week is measurable and doable.



  1. Nice! I agree with you on the time stop. Baby steps to righteousness. We think alike in these ways. That’s what’s so appealing about writing: I can hesitate before hitting “post” and in that hesitation often the still small voice of God says, “Don’t do it, Kelly.”

  2. Pingback: Thinking before Speaking | Stream of Hope

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