Do you ever struggle to express your emotions in a loving way? This post gives five powerful steps to help you say what you think without being mean. Plus, get a free printable!

5 Powerful Steps to Help You Say What You Think

I can be kind of a hot-headed Christian woman. (I’ll pause for a moment so all who know me well can have a laugh.) My Genuflected friends might even remember the time I accidentally yelled at a lady or all those times in my book Forty Days when I lost my cool.

Most people assume that since I’m excited about Jesus, I’ll be a nicey-nicey sweetheart all the time. So when I assert myself, it tends to catch them off guard.

But the thing is, Jesus Himself is a great example of how powerful human emotion can be. The Bible records several times when He showed his emotion through tears, heated conversations, and of course we all remember the time Jesus knocked over all those tables in the temple.

So why do Christian women secretly seem to think it’s a sin to show our strong emotions?

I’m guessing it’s because we are afraid to hurt anyone. After all, Jesus’ big push was for us to love one another. If we let out those strong emotions, can we really still be acting in a loving way toward others?

I say yes. I think we can express ourselves, assert our needs, and let our opinions be known in a way that is both Christian and loving.

I think we can do as Paul suggests: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Do you ever struggle to express your emotions in a loving way? This post gives five powerful steps to help you say what you think without being mean. Plus, get a free printable!

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a lot better than flying off the handle, stressing about the aftermath, and then begging for forgiveness later. And it’s a lot more healthy than trying to keep all those emotions bottled up, year after year.

So when strong emotions slap me in the face, I put them through the Love Filter. 

It’s the idea that we check our reactions to see if they are coming from a loving place with a loving intention — before we act.

Here are the steps to putting it through the Love Filter:

1. Take a deep breath. Start by pausing and taking a deep breath, because Brene Brown says that you lose a lot of crazy just by doing that.

2. Identify your motives. Ask yourself why you want to react the way you do. Are you secretly trying to build yourself up? Would it just feel good to put them down? Or do you honestly believe it will be helpful and loving to the other person if you say or do something?

3. Consider the timing. Ask yourself, “Do I have the strength and ability to deliver the necessary message or action in a loving way at the moment?” Just because something needs to be done, doesn’t mean it needs to be done right now. Sometimes — actually a lot of times — the best thing to do is walk away and give yourself some time.

4. Pray for guidance and repeat. Don’t forget to tap into that eternal well of grace and love God has available. Ask God to help you see the situation through His eyes. Then put the situation through the Love Filter again by repeating steps one through three.

5. Take action. Now you are better equipped to handle the situation in a more truthful and loving way. Hopefully, the end result will be even better than you could have imagined.

Do you ever struggle to express your emotions in a loving way? This post gives five powerful steps to help you say what you think without being mean. Plus, get a free printable!

**The image above is a free printable just for you! Right click on it to save it to your computer or print it!**

It’s a simple thing — this notion of the Love Filter. However, it’s saved me from saying unnecessarily hurtful things, and it has helped me to say necessary things in a more loving way.

[Tweet “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body… (Ephesians 4:15)”]

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)

Questions for you:

Do you show your emotion or bottle it all up inside? Do you put things through the Love Filter, or do you have another way to make sure you are acting in a loving way?

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!

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25 thoughts on “5 Powerful Steps to Help You Say What You Think

  1. I love the idea of a love filter. And also evaluating, “Do I need to address this? Am I the person to do it? Am I in the right frame of mind.” Sometimes we need to walk away, and that’s what I need more wisdom to do!!!

  2. My filter is the Holy Spirit. He’s my go to guy when I’m starting to boil over. Often times I find it’s best to just say nothing and pray about it first. But I love your image of the love filter. That’s creative!

  3. I know what you mean! Why is walking away one of the hardest parts? But, as you said, the key is wisdom. I heard this Bible verse the other day and thought, “I need to remember that!” What you wrote here reminded me of it: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5) I need to remember to ask for wisdom more often, especially if God is giving it to anyone who asks! Thanks for stopping by, Betsy. God bless!

  4. Wise words, Nicki! The Holy Spirit really is our ultimate help in knowing what to say and when. Like you said, so many times praying for someone is better than saying something. The Love Filter helps me pause and get to that point where I can pray for the person if that is what is necessary verses saying something to them. It’s a process for me! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Nicki.

  5. Thank you! Speaks to my heart.

    Especially when you say people assume because “I’m excited about Jesus, I’ll be a nicey-nicey sweetheart all the time.” LOL! How I wish that were true. Probably my husband too…

  6. Ahh girl I adore your love filter idea! Sometimes I just want to well, you know 🙂 Thanks for the recap at the end. Great way to send us off. Blessings to you my friend!

  7. Carmen, I just finished commenting on your beautiful post! We are on the same wave-length today I think. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Genuflected. I always appreciate your encouraging words. God bless!

  8. I giggled out loud when I read the first couple lines of this blog post. It sounded so much like me! I can be a hot-headed, loud, opinionated, italian women and The Lord has used this both for His glory and for my good, as he opens opportunities for me to grow. I love the idea of putting it “through the love filter.” Such a wise idea! Thank you for opening up and sharing honestly, Jenni! Your writing has been a blessing to me.

  9. I agree with Nikki. And I try to remember that what I say to someone else I am saying to JESUS! Practicing that more and more helps my tongue speak truth through the filter of love. Thanks, Jenni. #RaRaLinkup

  10. Susan, you make me laugh! It’s good to have a little spit-fire in us, don’t you think? Gotta keep those husbands on their toes! 🙂 I just need to remember to harness all that passion and zeal for the glory of God and not myself! Glad you stopped by Genuflected. God bless!

  11. Thank you for stopping by Genuflected, Tina! Sometimes I think of St. Paul and how God used all that vim and vinegar for His glory, and I think there is still hope for me. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  12. Oh, that’s a neat idea! “Would I say this to Jesus?” What a great, quick way to think through things before we say them. Thanks for the comment, Sheila! I always love to read what you have to say.

  13. What a neat post!! I love the process you laid out and the image of the “love filter”. My pre-teen daughter tends to let her emotions rule her behavior, and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get her to stop and think instead. This is the simple solution I’ve been looking for!! It’s also helpful for me, as I tend to bury my emotions, to discern the times when I actually do need to say something. Thanks for sharing!!

  14. Thanks Lynne! I’m so glad that it can help. It really is a simple, straightforward shift in my thinking that has made a big impact. Thanks for stopping by Genuflected! 🙂 God bless!

  15. Oh yes to the Love filter! Your practical steps will be used next time my words are ready to fly. I’m usually pretty good at keeping my words under control-it’s my life as a 3rd grade teacher. But I have been known to get heated too. Thank you for the reminder to use the love filter but to also ask the questions, will my words build someone up or tear them down. Thanks for coming by my place because now I have your beautiful home to visit. Blessings!

  16. Love this! I am a quiet soft spoken person and often shock people when I “express myself” and occasionally in a hot headed way. I love the term love filter and so needed that. What a great term to keep in mind for those hot headed moments to stop and ask if I am using my love filter.

  17. I love your analogy of a love filter, Jenni. I think we so often associate anger with sin, but as you poignantly point out, it’s what we do with the anger that causes sin. There have been many occasions when I’ve bottled up my emotion but I’m learning healthy ways to release it and one of the main things I do, which you mention, is simply to breathe. Wow, how that helps! And prayer becomes a continual conversation. Thanks so much for joining us at #RaRaLinkup.

  18. All too often I bottle things up, but I’m learning to express my emotions. Thank you for these wonderful tools–just what I need to memorize before I express my emotions!

  19. I really found this post helpful. The idea of the love filter is an easy way to stop and think before talking. I have been known to talk bluntly and not always quietly. I am working on changing that. I wrote a post about asking 3 questions before telling them the truth. My 1st question is, would I want to be told this if it was me? Oh, that question gets me to close my mouth at times! LOL (https://faithcounts.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/3-questions-to-ask-before-telling-the-truth/) I thought your question, “What’s my motivation?”, is a really good one to ask. Helpful? or put them in their place? Isn’t that a humbling question to answer?! Great post,Jenni!

  20. I also can be a bold & blunt truth-teller and need to guard myself against the lack of love. I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing it with us in such a real way. And thank you also for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!

  21. Wow – I needed to read this today.
    And yesterday.
    And tomorrow…
    I’m quick to speak sometimes. Too quick.
    Thank you for sharing this and thanks for joining us at Grace & Truth!

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