After regrettable words leave our lips, they seem to hang frozen in the air for an eternity. Those within earshot share in our awkward moment as everyone thinks, “Did I/they really say that? Did I/they really say that Out Loud?” If only we could reel back in our careless words before they transform themselves into destructive wrecking balls!
“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.” James 3:8-9 (NKJV)
The tongue may be a small body part but never call it weak! It holds great power and strength. This tiny body muscle can soothe a crying baby, ease the fears of a distressed soul, or tear down the confidence of a child and annihilate a relationship. The tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
It is a wise man or woman who speaks few words. Even a fool is thought to be wise if he/she keeps silent (Proverbs 17:28). Additionally, the wise in heart have learned that when many words are spoken, especially in a hush, sin is not far away. A friendly conversation can quickly turn into gossip. When a simple and short explanation could suffice, why give a long list of drawn out details?
If you have been entrusted with the care of specific details in a friend’s life, you have been given a trust. Should you want to loose their friendship and find yourself avoided at her next party, go ahead and gossip. When you break a trust and confidence you not only hurt the one you are betraying, but also you hurt yourself. Quickly, a reputation will attach itself to your name; one of being duplicitous, and many intimate friends will quietly drift away.
“A gossip betrays a confidence; So avoid anyone who talks too much.” Proverbs 20:19 (NIV)
Should you acquire the reputation of being a gossip, you will not easily shake free of its grip. The damage a few words cause in a moment of time can easily take a lifetime to repair. So, consider how you would feel should your dark secrets be revealed.
Sin is often confessed in our prayer closet where God forgives the truly repentant soul. However, there are also times when we share our sin and humiliation with another, asking for prayers and words of hope. Should our sins get aired in public, there are some who will judge and never forget the disclosure. The dirty laundry of our confessed sin belongs in the Lord’s laundry hamper; for there He will toss our trespasses like mismatched socks as far as the east is from the west.
“Lord, make my words as sweet as honey for tomorrow I may have to eat them.” ~ Anonymous
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23 (NKJV)
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)
“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)