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Knowing what to say and what not to say is a very important life lesson for young adults (and anyone. But this is the age at which I seem to be learning this lesson).

Step One is to realize that there are untrustworthy people out there. You also have to realize that everyone has a sin nature (thus, the untrusworthy-ness). You also need to realize that not many have Jesus as the Lord of their life. There are “Christians” out there who live like this (which is sad). And there are nonChristians out there who live like this. (Ironically enough, I’ve been treated better by some nonChristians living an ungodly lifestyle than I have been treated by professing Christians. But that’s another story.)

I’ve also come to realize over the years that I am a pretty trusting person. I think there are two main reasons for this. Part of it is because I’m about 85% accurate at reading people correctly, and I tend to rely on that gifting pretty heavily. I’ve also come to realize over the years that I am a very merciful person as well, giving people second chances over and over and over again. I see the potential in every person and every situation, and I tend to hold on a long time to see things change.

The other thing I’m coming to realize about myself is that God loves me. Okay, well duh, you may be thinking. But honestly, that’s a really good step to have before going out into the world. You’ve got to know how very much you are loved, and that God has got your back. Knowing your loved ones have your back as well helps a ton. I can’t even begin to describe how comforting it is to be able to come home, talk with my family about what’s going on in my life, and snuggle back with a book and a teddy bear (the teddy bear was a gift from a friend. I thought I was too old for a teddy bear, but I was wrong. It helps a ton, knowing I’m cared about and prayed for).

So, we’ve already established that #1 There are Untrustworthy People Out There, #2 I am a Trusting Person with a Good Heart, and #3 I am Loved by God. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who can relate.

But how do you deal with these untrustworthy people? Well, you need to know what to say and what NOT to say. This is important.

No matter how much I want to desperately believe that “people are basically good” (those of you who know me well enough know that I am being incredibly sarcastic here), I know that PEOPLE ARE SINNERS. And I’m not just talking about the “let’s just pat them on the back about it and they’ll be better” types of sinners. I’m talking about untrustworthy people who are BAD NEWS.

These are the types of people where you need to be especially careful because “anyone you say can and will be used against you.” I know that’s a term for a different situation, but it applies to these sorts of situations as well. Be wise on what you allow to come out of your mouth. Think about what you’re going to say beforehand. Be careful what you say while you are talking with them.

And be aware. Be aware that they might use your emotions to get you to say things you shouldn’t. Be aware that they may be really good at twisting your conversation until it’s about them (and where you’re the bad guy, and the one making life oh-so-difficult for them). Be aware of control-mongers. Be aware of manipulators. Be aware of power-trippers. Be aware of people who want to put you beneath their feet.

There are honestly people out there like that. Unfortunately, that’s part of sin nature, and a lot of people out there in the world choose to live like that. Be wise. And pick your words carefully. Mull your words over. Think about them, pray about them. Pray before going into a “talk” with an unpleasant person. Choose your words with wisdom. And don’t get sucked into the world and its ways. We are God’s precious people. Know that, and act on that.

This is a life lesson–guarding your tongue. Yay for the “mature” world of adults. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.


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Following Your Feet