An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes. Cato the Elder
And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed. Oscar Wilde
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain
An old adage says that we should measure things twice so that we only need to cut once. Another says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to our mouths and the words we speak, we should be very careful both in the quantity and the quality of the words we speak. Everyone has had their share of major miscues and verbal disasters because of ‘runaway mouths’. How many times do we allow things to be said that should not be said? How many times does our mouth get out of control before we can put the reins on it?
We have opportunities every day to use our mouths and tongues to say good things. Something as simple as “Good morning”, “Thank you”, and “Have a nice day” are things that most of us have multiple opportunities to express each and every day. How many times do we miss these opportunities to say something encouraging to those we care about or those around us? How often do we tell loved ones we love them? How many times a day do we use our tongues to say negative and hurtful things? How often does our mind, mouth and tongue give in to the temptation of engaging in gossip and spreading juicy ‘tidbits’ about others behind their backs?
The world could be better if each of us made a point of saying warm and kind things to the people we see and meet every day. A wonderful change would occur if we carefully controlled the words we speak as if we were carrying loaded guns. We are armed and dangerous. Carelessness can create harm and injury. We are always becoming what we are thinking and saying. Our spoken words truly reflect what is going on inside us. The world is affected by all the words that get spoken every day. Negative thoughts and negative words help to create, support and maintain this negative world.
We should be ever mindful of our mouth and our words. Every time we do not use them for good we miss important opportunities. The words we are speaking can be good or bad, helpful or harmful or constructive or destructive. The words pouring out of our mouths are manifestations of what exists inside us. Of all the things we can improve upon, this one is such a “no-brainer”.
Challenge: How many times a day do you say caring and encouraging things to loved ones, friends and co-workers? How often do you miss opportunities to greet others with kind greetings? How often are you saying unkind and harmful words? Do you find yourself giving into gossip? Your answers are speaking for themselves! Take a major step toward becoming the better you. Use your mouth and your words for doing more good.
Wisdom: We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Epictetus
Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. Psalm 52:2
A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. Proverbs 15:2
Those motivated by love are mindful of what come out of their mouths. When we speak words that are not from a loving attitude, internal alarms should sound as instant feedback that our thoughts are corrupt. It is very tough and difficult to get this area of our life under control. We cannot do this totally on our own. We need God’s help to empower and help us to use our mouths in good and helpful ways instead of bad and harmful ways.
Prayer: Help me to have better thoughts and to use my mouth and tongue to do good and not for evil.