Tag Archives: Communication

KMS…Keep Mouth Shut

KMS...Keep Mouth Shut

KMS…Keep Mouth Shut

I think the best piece of marriage advice that I’ve ever received is KMS. Honestly, it’s been some pretty good advice in a variety of settings. However, it’s probably been some of the hardest advice to actually follow. Especially for me. Those who know me well will understand.

You see, several years ago I was serving on a volunteer team at my church. My team leader, Shelli, was amazing. She was such a great leader. I really looked up to her. One day as Shelli and I were serving together she mentioned that she and her husband were celebrating 17 years of marriage (or maybe 18 or more, I can’t remember offhand). I think I was only about 10 years into my marriage at that point, and we were going through some marriage problems.

So, I asked her, “What’s the best advice you could give me on marriage?”

Shelli quickly responded, “KMS.”

“KMS?” I questioned, “What’s KMS?”

She smiled at me and said “KMS…Keep Mouth Shut.”

I laughed and said, “Oh, I can’t do that! That’s your best advice? How do you do that? What about when you know you’re right?”

She laughed and jokingly replied, “Oh, I’m ALWAYS right, but I still keep my mouth shut!”

That was such a hard concept for me to fathom. How can I possibly believe that I’m right about something and still keep my mouth shut? 

God had already told me as much

Honestly, God had already been working on me to “KMS” for some time on this one. Even still, it took a while for me to get it through my thick head. Wait a minute! What am I talking about? I STILL struggle with this one a lot. 🙂 However, it is getting a lot easier.

After my conversation with Shelli, I started noticing bible verses about this exact topic of KMS during my quiet time readings…

“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Exodus 14:14 (AMP)

“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:1-4 (NLT)

“…So let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2b (NLT)

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)

“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Proverbs 17:27-18 (NLT)

Did you see that? God was so nice. He started correcting me softly with phrases like “hold your peace”, “without any words”, “gentle and quiet spirit”, “few words”, “restrained lips” and “keep silent”.

I didn’t take the hint

Unfortunately, I still wasn’t taking the hint. Therefore, God got a little firmer and starting being a little more blunt about this KMS thing. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants anyway!

Often, I like to read and study my bible in several different translations. One of my favorite things to do, as I’ve mentioned before, is read a chapter of Proverbs each day corresponding with the day of the month (since there are 31). Then, I start over again the next month reading in a different translation or version.

Several of these verses I kept reading about KMS came right out of the book of Proverbs. Can you believe that as I started reading in different translations, many of these same verses that I had already read (and had already been corrected on softly mind you) ACTUALLY had the KMS command in them! In fact, they flat-out said “keep your mouth shut” right in the verse! Who knew God could be so blunt and direct? Ouch!

KMS Verses:

KMS Bible Verses

KMS Bible Verses

“God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!” Exodus 14:14 (MSG)

“…Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.” Psalm 4:4 (MSG)

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)

“I wish you would keep your mouths shut! Then people would think you were wise.” Job 13:5 (NIRV)

“So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time.” Amos 5:13 (NLT)

“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)

“Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” Proverbs 17:28 (MSG)

“I promised I would watch my steps so as not to sin with my tongue; promised to keep my mouth shut as long as the wicked were in my presence.” Psalms 39:1 CEB

“As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.” Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NLT)

“Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)

I finally started to get the idea

When I started reading these verses that were pretty much just in my face about the whole KMS issue, I finally started to take the correction. Boy was it humbling! I started to learn that sometimes fewer words (or no words) can speak volumes. The old cliché “silence is golden” can actually be pretty accurate.

One time God even threw in an extra analogy for me during my studies to drive His KMS point in really well. Wasn’t that nice of Him? 😉 One morning as I was sitting there studying these KMS verses about remaining silent, I had a thought cross my brain. Miranda Rights. All of a sudden these words ran through my mind, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…” Consequently, this reminded me that I will also be held accountable for everything I say. What I say can and will be used against me. Yet another reason to KMS!

“But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” Matthew 12:36-37 (AMP) 

Now, it’s YOUR turn to KMS!

Take Some Practical Steps to KMS…Keep Mouth Shut:

  • First, read over the bible verses about KMS. There are LOTS of them! God probably deems this as a pretty important concept if the bible repeats it that much. There are some really good insights in these verses, and you can see some benefits of keeping your mouth shut. For example, when you KMS, God will fight for you, you appear more intelligent and wise, you stay out of trouble, you win people over, and you can keep yourself from sinning.
  • Next, pick a verse or two that stands out to you, write them on index cards and post them where you can see them daily as a reminder to KMS. Consider memorizing them.
  • Additionally, you might even turn some verses into a positive affirmation. For example, you could say, “God will fight for me. I will hold my peace and remain at rest.” Another affirmation might be, “I watch my tongue, keep my mouth shut, and stay out of trouble.”
  • Pray, and ask for God’s help to KMS. I try to make this a daily routine. A helpful verse to pray is Psalm 141:3. This is another verse I have written on an index card and posted on my bathroom sink so that I see it every morning.

“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NIV)

Has God encouraged you to KMS in your relationships? How has KMS (keeping your mouth shut) been effective for you? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, disrespectful, sarcastic, offensive, or off-topic.  By posting on this site you agree to my Comment Policy.

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If you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward!  Share this post via the sharing links below.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) 

Apologizing Doesn’t Remove All Consequences

Apologizing Doesn’t Remove All Consequences

Apologizing Doesn’t Remove All Consequences

This past weekend my son and daughter were arguing. Surprise. Surprise. Why do kids argue over the stupidest things? My daughter had actually won a prize at church, a giant Pixy Stix. They started arguing over if she would share or not. When she went to put her coat on before we walked out to the car she needed someone to hold her Pixy Stix. She wouldn’t hand it to her brother but to me instead. Apparently he got mad because he was “trying to help her”. I’m sure he had other ulterior motives too. So he spouted off in a hateful tone, “I was just trying to help you! You’re a piece of crap!”

After I picked my jaw up off the floor at the nastiness that just spewed out of his mouth, I quickly informed him that we DO NOT talk like that to people. I also advised him that he would definitely not be getting any of that Pixy Stix now.

When we got to the car I made him do the 4-step apology (or as we call it now, “apologize the right way”). We had some further, lengthy “discussion” about his attitude and the ease with which he flung his verbal assault. After some conversation, the tension ceased. Something else lighthearted created peace between the two siblings again; for the life of me I can’t remember what it was now.

Then, I had that motherly 6th sense as I was driving. My daughter, the forgiving soul that she is, gave her brother some of her Pixy Stix candy.

So hollering behind me…

Me: “Are you eating some of that Pixy Stix?!”

My son: “Yes, she gave me some.”

Me: “I told you NO Pixy Stix.”

My son: “But I apologized and she forgave me.”

Me: “Apologies don’t delete consequences. Just because you said you were sorry doesn’t mean that your punishment disappears. Just because she forgave you doesn’t make the hurt you caused her disappear.”

Then I remembered an exercise that I do with my classes to demonstrate a point. Continue reading

Funny Friday: I want to learn British

My young daughter says, "I want to learn British. They just speak with an accent." :)

Funny Friday: I want to learn British

We were recently talking at dinner about learning different foreign languages.  My young daughter chimed in and said, “I want to learn British.  They just speak with an accent.” 🙂  We’re never short of laughs with my kids around.

“At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words.” Genesis 11:1 (NLT)

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

I’m going to tell on myself this week. 🙂 I had a lesson in dealing with adult bullies and therefore had the opportunity to show my kids a real-life example of how to deal with bullies.  We’ve talked recently about responding to people who offend you and scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted.  Sometimes the best way to respond is not to respond.  However, there are times when a response is helpful and/or necessary.  I felt like I encountered one of those times this past week.

I had an altercation in the parking lot at my son’s school this past week, but it didn’t start there.  To give you some background, there has been a lady that has caused a variety of problems all school year.  In my opinion, she is an adult bully.  I had never talked to her (and honestly didn’t even know her) up until this point.  We see her almost every morning at school drop-off, and we always notice her.

There are a few reasons she stands out.  One reason is that every morning she has a dog that sits in the front seat of the car and barks incessantly with an ear-piercing sound with its head sticking out of the open window.  We can actually hear it while we are driving down the road, even though our windows are up!  She’s also very noticeable because she has driven pretty erratically on occasion—or as my kids would say, “She’s a crazy driver!”  Frequently, she does not follow the school’s drop-off procedure to only drop your kids off at a certain, designated location (so as not to block traffic).  Each morning she instead ignores this sometimes inconvenient procedure, and she drops her kids off at the front door which holds up and blocks traffic behind her prohibiting anyone else from being able to pull in to drop their kids off until she moves out of the way.

Last, but not least, she stands out because she has been known on SEVERAL occasions to honk at drivers in front of her, myself included.  There is a particular route to school that has an intersection where it is extremely difficult to make a left-hand turn during the busy morning traffic.  If she has to wait too long at that intersection she starts honking.  Last week was no different.  I was at the intersection attempting to turn left.  She was in the car directly behind me (I knew because I heard the barking dog!).  Due to the high volume of traffic, I was having a difficult time turning left.

One thing you should also know about me is that I’m a “better safe than sorry” kind of person when driving, especially if I have my kids in the car.  I know this probably irritates some people because I don’t get in a hurry—to me it’s not worth the risk.  I guess to this lady it is worth the risk, because she started honking in a series of small honks at first.  She also kept moving forward acting as if she would hit me with her car if I didn’t hurry up and go.  Then, she proceeded to lay on the horn with a nonstop blast when I refused to rush in front of an oncoming school bus that had briefly stopped at a railroad crossing.  I was getting a bit flustered at this point.  I rolled my window down and waived my hand backward as if to say “stop it!”, and I pulled out after the school bus had passed.  I shook my index finger out the window as I drove on.  You know…kind of a “shame on you” type of move.

I decided right then that I was not going to put up with her bullying any more.  Continue reading

Funny Friday: Communication Breakdown

Communication Breakdown?

Funny Friday: Communication Breakdown

Hmmm.  I think there might have been a communication breakdown with the construction of this house.  I guess this is what happens when two teams don’t talk?

“But they did not listen or pay attention; instead… They went backward and not forward.” Jeremiah 7:24 (NIV)

How to Respond When People Offend You

How to Respond When People Offend You...

How to Respond When People Offend You

What do you do when people offend you, insult you, treat you badly, or persecute you?  I’ve been having to really work on this lately.  Back in December I mentioned that I was getting an increasing number of negative comments on my blog posts.  Some were from well-meaning Christians who felt the need to correct me.  Others were from people of a differing religious belief system who wanted to argue and debate over doctrinal issues.  Some were from people, Christian or not, that just intensely disagreed with things that I said (and not always in the nicest way).  Lately I’ve been getting a bit lambasted on Pinterest with comments from atheists, specifically about a post on “How to Pray for Unsaved Loved Ones”.  I guess you could call it a persecution of sorts.

Apparently some of them are taking offense that I, as well as others who are pinning these prayers, might be praying for them, and they want me to stop.  Well guess what?  Not gonna happen.  And now, since they were so kind as to leave me a comment and give me their name, I can pray for them more specifically.  By name.  Which, by the way, I wasn’t doing before because I didn’t even know them. 🙂  They can’t really stop me from praying can they?  I know…I’m such a rebel.  The problem that I’ve been struggling with though when I get offended  by their comments is wanting to reply to them.

These commenters have written things that are critical and insulting.  They say things and make accusations that aren’t true.  They take things I say and twist or misconstrue them.  They definitely appear to be in “attack” mode.  My first gut reaction is that I’m extremely offended.  I feel very angry because I feel a sense of injustice.  I deeply want to want to argue with their comments.  It takes an awful lot of restraint not to say anything.  Instead of arguing and fighting back, I’ve had to learn to hold my tongue and fight back with prayer.

I’ve really had to re-read and follow my own advice about adhering to the communication guidelines laid out in the bible and about using my “Miranda Rights” by exercising my right to remain silent (because if not I probably will incriminate myself with an ungodly response to which I WILL be held accountable to God someday!).  I’m having to follow my own tips on not being nasty back to others who have been nasty to me.  To be honest, it’s not always easy. 

My pastor mentioned once that many times we have this wrong attitude: Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2015

Happy, Healthy & Prosperous Top 10 Posts of 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2015

“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” Psalms 105:5 (ESV)

This week I’m sharing the Top 10 Posts of 2015I like to take the first of the year to recount some of the top or most popular posts of the previous year.  I like to share them for a couple of reasons…

First, there are several new subscribers/followers who may not have seen or read these posts and might find some of them to be helpful.

Secondly, looking back also helps me to remember what God has done and is still doing through this website (that I oh-so-reluctantly started…and sometimes still reluctantly continue!).

Lastly, it helps me (and hopefully you too) know how to pray based on what the current need or demand is, and when I know that I know how to continue to pray for others.  For example, 3 of the most popular posts have to do with leading someone to Christ or praying for someone to come to Christ.  For starters this makes me SUPER excited to know that people are actively seeking these types of websites out.  To me this means that the body of Christ is continuing to grow, and I know to continue to pray for the people who have come across these posts to have boldness to lead someone to the Lord and to agree in prayer with them that their unsaved loved ones will be saved and grow in their relationship with God.  Another example, is that the posts about being unloved and unwanted are overwhelmingly popular…which makes me so sad to know that there are so many people feeling unloved and unwanted.  I continue to pray that they will know and fully experience the love of God and of others.

Take Some Practical Steps:

  • As you look through this list of most popular posts, please take a minute to pray for one or more of the topics that stand out to you (like my examples above).
  • Please click on and read or re-read one or more of the posts from which you feel you may be able to receive some benefit or of which you might need some reminding.
  • Pay it forward…if one or more of the following posts has benefited you, please forward it/them to others you feel they may benefit (you might prayerfully consider who to share them with), or consider sharing them on your social media channels (sharing links are available at the end of each post).
  • Lastly, please pray for me this year to #1-continue to help others, #2-for me to have to right words at the right time, and #3-for the right people to be directed to my site for God to help them.

Top 10 Posts of 2015

Continue reading

Be An Encourager…Make More Positive Comments

Be An Encourager…Make More Positive Comments

Be An Encourager…Make More Positive Comments

Lately we’ve been discussing some of the downside of communication with others.  Negative communication is often inevitable so we talked about how to avoid making negative comments and how to respond to critical and sometimes hurtful communication when we are on the receiving end.  On the flip side though, not only is it important to avoid making damaging comments, but it’s valuable to go the extra mile to make positive comments and to point out the good in situations.

I recently completed a six-part series of devotions on my YouVersion bible app that was based on the Stay Positive series by Pastor Craig Groeschel, the Senior Pastor at Life Church.  Something that Pastor Groeschel said really stood out to me (which was an indicator that it was something that I need to work on).  He said if you think something good, you should say it and that you should never rob somebody else from a blessing.  He said we should be a tool of God to be a voice of encouragement to other people on a daily basis.  His advice was that anytime we think something good about somebody else we should turn it into a gift of encouragement.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) 

In fact, God himself is an encourager.  We need to be like God and be encouragers too!  When we encourage others, we are showing and being a little part of God to somebody else…somebody who may really need it.

“But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.” 2 Corinthians 7:6 (NLT)

I often think good things about other people, but I’m not always the best at vocalizing with positive comments.  So after Pastor Groeschel’s advice, Continue reading