"A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even tempered. Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; when they keep their mouths shut, they seem intelligent." Proverbs 17:27-28
"That's just how I am. If I'm thinking it--I'm going to say it!" How many times have we heard that remark or perhaps said it ourselves? Sounds very assertive, self-confident and independent doesn't it? According to the scripture though, that is an unwise attitude and one that can often get us in trouble. Proverbs 10:19 says, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
As we recently talked about at Women's Bible Study, we've all said things impulsively and the second the words left our mouths we knew we shouldn't have said them. How many marriages have been deeply damaged by thoughtless words spoken during times of pressure or frustration? How many friendships have been forever altered by gossip or hurtful remarks made as a result of misunderstanding? How many parent/child relationships have been scarred by angry accusations made during times of stress or struggle?
James 1:19-20 tells us, "...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
I'm still learning that my tongue so often has a mind of it's own and that I need to continually bring it under the authority of Christ. The good news is that the same tongue that can cause so much pain and heartache can also be a messenger of healing and restoration if we humbly lay it on the altar of surrender and brokenness. Proverbs 15:4a says, "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life..."
Some of the sweetest words the tongue can utter are, "I'm so sorry" and "I forgive you". It's never too late to allow God to fix situations and people who have been damaged by the tongue.