Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.

Do you seem to get enmeshed in trouble a lot? The problem may be your tongue. Don't be quick to deny it. The denier claims that the real problem is that he is misunderstood. Other people are too sensitive. They misread his intentions and need to examine themselves. He is sure that other people are spreading rumors about him so that others also misunderstand what he is saying. He sees a pattern in everyone else. For whatever reason, he cannot pick up on himself being the common element of the pattern!

One reason may be that he doesn't view his tongue as the problem is that he does not yell. Indeed, in his mind he is quite courteous. He does not pick up on the tone of his voice. He is not sensitive to how insensitive his remarks are. He makes the fatal flaw of not being able to read (or choosing not to read) the emotions of others or the particular circumstances. What can be said in one place at one time cannot be said in another. What can be said to one person cannot be said to another. What can be said to a person feeling a particular emotion cannot be said when he feels another emotion.

To properly control the tongue requires being attentive to others and one's circumstances. It requires thinking and taking into consideration how what one says will be received. Sounds like a lot of work, but the real work that must be done is the examination of the heart. Controlling the tongue requires examination of one's love for God and for neighbor. It is a lot of work. But controlling the tongue so that blessing rather than trouble comes out produces great blessing to one's neighbor and for oneself.

What will your tongue bring forth today – trouble or blessing?

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