For seniors, muscle strength may be something that waxes and wanes (often with emphasis on wanes). But there's one muscle in the body that seems to remain stubbornly strong throughout the years, and even seniors who have decades of experience controlling it may need to be conscious of it. That muscle is the tongue.
James 3:5 says the tongue is "a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts." James says the tongue is a fire, capable of setting the entire forest ablaze. But the tongue can also be an amazing gift, allowing us to bless others with words of affirmation or thanksgiving.
The key to an enjoyable life in an assisted living community for every resident is being wary of keeping our tongue on the right side of that equation. Here are three tips for, as James would say, putting a bit in your mouth to control your tongue.
You know how this one ends. But the world of a senior living community isn't as simple as the world of elementary school, where you may have learned this phrase. Certainly, we should hold our tongues if we don't have anything nice to say in general circumstances. But seniors in assisted living communities (or any environment) should feel comfortable speaking up about issues or concerns. There's just a right way to do it.
At our Bethesda Senior Living Communities, that means escalating issues to staff about concerns with services or the community buildings. And if you're having a disagreement with another resident, it means talking it out in a faithful, peaceful way whenever possible.
The tongue is a muscle, so put it through a regular workout of positive speech. That might include affirming others, complimenting neighbors and assisted living staff, saying thank you or simply telling fun stories or jokes to lift the spirits of those around you.
If you struggle with positive speech, that's all the more reason to consciously adopt the habit. If you struggled with walking, an occupational therapist might have you practice to improve your muscles. You can do the same for your tongue.
Even if you're sweet as pie all the time in person, if you're writing mean notes or attacking people on social media or via email, you're not really living up to the Biblical principles of controlling your tongue. Try to bring the Fruits of the Spirit to every type of communication you engage in. And if you're falling short of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness, start by working on self-control.
Posted on Mon, March 25, 2019
by Shawn Deane