Contemplative Speech

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Contemplative Speech - Marcus 2229

The content of my weekly blogs is drawn primarily from ancient Hebrew wisdom literature, while the 2020 format was inspired by James Clear’s “3-2-1” Thursdays. Building from my recent book UNBEATABLE! Seven Pillars of Personal Excellence, each blog will contain One Pillar/Proverb, One Principle and One Practical.

One Pillar

Do not rush to speak, the texts say, or to assert; above all, avoid speaking out of anger. By implication, all good speech is informed by contemplation—of God above all, but also, by extension, in a contemplative attentiveness to one another.”-Philip Sheldrake

One Principle

Do you find it easy to think and ponder meaningfully before speaking? I have so much to learn in this area, especially as someone whose career and spiritual calling are built on communication. In last week’s blog, I addressed the issue of truly listening. This week, we look at the other side of the coin: our speech. However, my focus is not on our words, but on what happens in those few seconds before we open our mouths.

I love how Sheldrake put it in his quote above. “All good speech is informed by contemplation.” Words matter. We see it all the time. Even as the global conversation continues to centre on equality, justice and race relations, we have seen passionate, heartfelt pleas on one end and many apologies on the other. It’s all about words.

But before we speak, we must think. We must contemplate. We must pause. It means that we cannot be in a rush when we seek to give advice, share an opinion or offer words of comfort. We must consider God and his sovereign stewardship of world affairs. He is not asleep. We must consider each other, because life is about relationships not accomplishments. Together, let us learn how to begin every sentence we utter, with quiet contemplation. It has the power to change lives.

One Practical

In your upcoming conversations this week, pause for five seconds before you talk. The value in this practice may surprise you.  

To learn more about these pillars of personal excellence, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Kenjay Theobald

    Timely post bro!
    Two quotes stood out in my mind after reading.

    First, “The right thing to do and the hardest thing to do are usually the same.” – Steve Maraboli

    Second, is actually from James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

    I embrace the way James says ‘My brethren’ so relational. I felt for a moment that we (James and I) were chilling at the beach, as he guides these gems of growth and understanding.

    It’s like he’s just opening my mind and perspective to say “Just think about it. The same mouths we praise God with; we gossip, curse and abuse so many others around us.”

    Thanks for sharing Ty. Words have the power to both build and break. I know I’ll be first to admit that I,ve chosen the latter in the past and had to regret it.

    Those five seconds I’ll work on incorporating.

    Blessings always buddy!

  2. J. Tyrone Marcus

    I really appreciate your heartfelt feedback Kenjay. There is so much power in our words that it’s almost frightening. I look forward to growing as a contemplative speaker.

  3. Brian Yarde

    Thank you T.

  4. Allan Cunningham

    Hi Tyrone,

    This is truly a great message. I will try to carry out this priniciple.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      Hey Allan. I, too, want to make consistent strides in this area. I see great value in pursuing this quality.

  5. Dave Foster

    We often forego those five seconds simply to defend ourselves. I have learnt and continue to learn how valuable that pause before response can be especially if it is used to utter a simple prayer. I truly appreciate and look forward to these nuggets of truth. Thanks Tyrone for your heart!!

  6. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Thank you Dave for that timely reminder that even a brief, silent prayer before speaking can go a long way in cultivating contemplative speech.

  7. Richard Baboolal

    Timely advice Tyrone. Thank you for the perspective.

  8. J. Tyrone Marcus

    You are most welcome Richard.

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