I can’t seem to avoid reminders about holding my tongue. I hope it’s because I’m so good at it.
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14 NIV).
Before a dispute breaks out? That means to resist saying that one-more-thing that might cause a serious crack in a relationship, and even bring a rush of unstoppable destruction.
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (verse 28).
This might be my favorite proverb of all time. I may behave foolishly, but I can appear wise if I’m careful with my words. I think being watchful of their effect is what helps me to be less destructive and more encouraging to others.
“A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool” (verse 10).
Verse 10 speaks for itself, doesn’t it! I want to welcome the rebuke that helps me do better and I hope to be a woman of discernment. I’ve seen enough damage to motivate me to keep the dam in good repair.
It’s hard to choose which verses to highlight for January 10, but here are my picks. Two of them mention a chattering fool and invoke an image of the annoying gag toy with teeth that rattle when you wind it up.
“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:8 NIV.
“He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.” 10:10.
This one is on the same subject: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 10:19.
Tonight, as my daughter was cleaning the kitchen, my husband walked in and asked her about her day. She pulled her ear buds out and asked, “Are you talking to me? I heard your lips moving.” The laughter this caused was refreshing, since I’ve been sick and can’t remember the last time I laughed. She either has super powers or she knows a proverb I haven’t dug up yet.
This one is about something lips can do, however.
“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.” 10:21.