This devotional series examines a verse or two from a chapter of Proverbs each day of January 2017.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. ~Proverbs 13:3
The Proverbs say much about the words we speak. One piece of advice that gets repeated in the New Testament is: Be slow to speak. Some call the letter of James “the proverbs of the New Testament” because of the practical wisdom that it shares about life. One of the things that James focuses on is the fact that the tongue is hard to control.
Sometimes in a moment of anger, we say words that we instantly regret. Sometimes when we’re just talking about a wide and random assortment of things, we let slip a secret we were meant to keep. Sometimes when we hear mention of a person or situation, we are quick to add gossip we shouldn’t.
And in our age of technology, the problem is not merely associated with our mouths but also with our keyboards and phones.
That is why we must discipline ourselves to watch what we say. We need to think if the words we use will be beneficial or harmful. We also need to ask if our words will hinder or harm our witness to Jesus. Yes, this is far easier said than done, and that is part of the reason why God gave us so much scripture about controlling our tongues. But as we learn to watch what we say, it goes better for us and for those around us.