The psalmist has a lot to say about the dangers of the tongue. Apparently David had to guard himself in that particular area. ‘Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.’ (Psalm 141:3 NIV) ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord.’ (Psalm 19:14 NIV)
Just because a thought comes up doesn’t mean it should come out! ‘A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.’ (Proverbs 29:11 NKJV)
You say, ‘But I didn’t really mean it. I was just sounding off!’ You may not think you meant it, but the Bible says, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ (Matthew 12:34 NKJV) What’s harboured on the inside inevitably shows up on the outside. Put yourself in the other person’s place, listen to what you’re saying, and ask yourself how you’d respond. When you’re talking to someone, their acceptance doesn’t come from your heightened decibel level, but from your ability to listen, understand, care, empathise, and respond with wisdom. And if none of those things work, do what Jesus did when He stood before Pilate: ‘He did not open His mouth.’ (Acts 8:32 NLT) Amazing! He had the power and authority to call twelve legions of angels (72,000 plus) to His defence, but He didn’t. That’s strength, not weakness!
Another word to the wise: never resort to profanity. ‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.’ (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)