Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Every time we speak we provide opportunity for trouble. We might insult someone; we might offend; we might lie; we might speak folly; we might gossip; we might ignorantly pass on wrong information; we might speak out of turn or what is inappropriate for the moment. It is perhaps easier to sin through speech than through any other means.
It takes little effort to use the tongue. One does not have to be strong. We can whisper as well as shout sinfully. We can speak out in large crowds or quietly in a private conversation. We can speak in anger or even in what we think is love. And yet so often our words come back to haunt us. What was I thinking? I didnt know he would take it that way. I didnt realize she was so sensitive. Sometimes the problem is not so much with us but with the hearer. Speaking the truth, even in love, can be misinterpreted and misused.
That is why the wise guard their mouths. They understood the dangers of both saying the wrong thing or having the right words misconstrued. Words are powerful and easy to be abused by both the speaker and the hearer. Therefore, be not quick to speak, but make it your way of habit to observe your hearer, to examine your own heart, and to weigh the merits of what you will say. This is difficult to do. But the quicker we are to speak, the more likely trouble will come.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org