The character trait that follows diligence is self-control, it is number 7 on the list of 26.

7. Self-control, being free from anger, and always speaking words that give grace, always.

Obviously self-control applies to more than how we talk, but I have narrowed my focus on the character trait to just that, nothing else. The reason is because James 3:2 says, “For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.” So if I can grow to the point where I am perfectly controlling what I say to others, everything else is a piece of cake.

I begin every day with a prayer of commitment and dedication where I declare Jesus Lord of my life and make a series of behavioral commitments as an act of obedience to the Lord. One of them is, “Today I will not get angry, not even a lit bit irritated, at anybody, no matter what they do,” another commitment is “today, I will not gossip or slander anybody”, another is, “today, I will not grumble or complain about anything, no matter how bad it may be, instead I will rejoice always”, and one more, “today, I will not say a word that hurts or offends, but instead I will speak words that encourage, build up, and give grace.” After that series of commitments I pray, “Lord, Jesus, I can’t do this in my strength, would You fill me with Your Holy Spirit today, and give me the strength to keep these commitments in obedience to You.”

At the end of the day, I think through all that I can remember about conversations I had with people and try to remember anything I said that was contrary to my commitments. I confess all failures to God as sin, and make the commitment to not repeat it again tomorrow, but I often do repeat my bad speech, and I confess it again, one of these days I will get it right.,

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