Shut your mouth
I have a love-hate relationship with the wise instructions of the book of Proverbs. Do you know what I mean? One minute I’m feeling a little smug as I read the verses. “Well, that verse doesn’t apply to me,” I think. Then, if I’m really feeling full of myself, my thoughts might wander to the kind of people to whom I think the verse does apply.
Inevitably, the next verse I read always stings me with a lesson I need to hear.
Proverbs 13:3. Ugh. A lesson I need to hear. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” At first glance, we might read that verse and think of a time when someone said something awful to us. “I still can’t believe she said that to me,” we think. (Have you noticed how Facebook and the online world make it really easy for people to go after each other and be downright nasty?)
Let’s try the reverse. Can you recall a situation when you opened your mouth and wish you hadn’t? When you spoke rashly? Any type of poorly chosen words apply, and all of us are guilty to some degree. Angry words, prideful words, words of gossip, or any other hurtful words—even if unintentional—all cause big problems.
All of us can think of other people who need to guard their lips more carefully, but it’s better for everyone if we remember that we fall into the “needs improvement” category as well.
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