Some of us have learned how indigestible our words can be when we have to eat them.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “eating your words,” here’s what happens.
We state an opinion or “fact.”
We learn the stated opinion wasn’t based fully on facts.
We learn our facts were not correct.
The subsequent admission of our error is eloquently called “eating our words.”
Seldom do those words taste as good coming back in as they did going out.
At best they are bitter, at the worst they burn all the way down.
If you were born in the pre-millennial days, you often could dine on those unpalatable words almost in private. No matter how big a mouth you had, of necessity, only a few people heard you.
Now, when we blab an opinion, when we share a link on social media, our platform is as big as our friend group. Bigger, if people share our opinion or link.
If that opinion turns out to be built on lies, if the story we share turns out to be less than honest,
and we learn the truth—what do we do?
Of course we could just move on to the next story and pretend we never said anything wrong. And our faulty opinions and false stories just pile up and rot and pollute and ultimately spread a malaise that makes everyone sick.
But we are bigger than that, aren’t we? (Probably because we’ve been eating our words for decades now.)
Of course you and I will admit that we didn’t take everything into account when we stated a heartfelt opinion. Or course we’ll confess that maybe we shared a link to a story before verifying it was factual.
We’re just that kind of people.
We’ve also learned the wisdom of that Scripture verse that says “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
No matter how careful we are in choosing our words and opinions and stories to share, we will mess up.
So, we season everything that comes out of our mouth or social media sites with salt. Then, when necessary, we take a deep breath and eat the misspoken, mistaken words.
Himalayan pink or Morton’s finest, specialty blends or generic seasoning, I recommend we choose our words’ seasoning with care. Because sooner or later we will have to eat them.