Back on July 18th - I said I'd picked up a digital version of Karen Ehman's Zip It - a 40 day devotional book on speech and was going to go through it.
Well - I finished it a bit early - mostly because the book has just 5 readings per week - but I frequently did 6. Anyway - here's what I have to say about Zip It after having read it through - and giving the parts that resonated with me most a second read (and there were quite a few) here's my final word (hehe - couldn't resist) on this book on speech: do it.
If you haven't done a study on speech before - or ever - then this is a great place to start - especially if you don't have a lot of time to devote to the topic. You might, for instance, wonder, how anyone could come up with 40 days worth of stuff to say about speech. You could surely find twice as many topics on speech on your own - but not without a substantial investment of time. Studies such as this are beneficial in the sense that not only do they do collect many of the verses on their given topic - but they also effectively school you on how to do such studies on your own - on topics of your own choosing - which may or may not always be available in a prepared manner - or which you may want to study much deeper - looking into the original language, or traditional church views, or ancient ones, or ... more!
Some of the subtopics/days I particularly enjoyed were
Day 1 "A Matter of Life and Death"
Day 9 "Building Your Word-Robe"
Day 12 "That Time I Spied Ugly in the Mirror"
Week 4 which was focused on taming your temper
Day 21 "The Snowball of Senseless Speech"
Week 7 which was focused on making our words sweet and salty
This study took me less than 20 minutes per day - to read through the day's reading, to look up verses, journal a bit - and pray through the exercise - some days I spent a little more time other a little less.
That said - I have spent an enormous amount of time nearly every day since beginning the Salty Speech project - 1-2 hours usually - studying speech on many levels - this study was just one aspect. I've also done studies on listening, silence, solitude, quiet, waiting, patience, graciousness in speech, not to mention engaging in anew familiar as well as learning new spiritual discipline practices - which I'll touch on in Friday's post - which will be the last (at least for now) on Salty Speech.
However we go about it - each of us who has given our lives to Christ, and has been offered His grace, carries the privilege and responsibility of standing in for Him in the minds of those we encounter - as representative of not only Christ, but His Church's people in general. I've never heard of a Christ-follower being ill-received for being too wise in how they speak. There are many words in my past which I'd happily erase. My goal for this study was anything but regret though - rather my goal was to make the most of the future.
"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34