Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

You May Have to Eat Your Words

Proverbs 13:2-3 We learned earlier that a man is satisfied by the fruit of his lips. Today's proverb conveys this same thought when it says, "A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth." Then this proverb adds a special exhortation "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction."

In World War II they had an expression, "Loose lips sink ships." This was an exhortation to factory workers and all who were working in the war effort to be careful about what they said to others. There is another proverb that says we are snared by the words of our mouth. Still another proverb tells us that the man who guards and keeps his mouth keeps his soul from troubles. All these proverbs convey the message that a wise man is a man of few words.

God created us with two ears and one mouth for a reason. We would be wise if we listened twice as much as we talked. We will always put our foot in our mouth if we have it opened all the time. My mother told me if I did not have something good to say, I shouldn't say it. Many words can lead to meaninglessness and even hurt.

Where is a person's focus who talks constantly? His focus is on himself. If we truly love people and are concerned about them, we will want to hear what is going on in their lives instead of monopolizing the conversation with what is going on in our own life. If we could hear a recording of some of our conversations with others, I believe we would all make a pledge to be a person of few words.

Jesus said, "Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Anything more than this tends to evil." His exhortation was for us to be direct, decisive and thoughtful in our speech. Today make it your goal to think before you open your mouth. Philippians 4:8 tells us those things we are to think about "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (KJV).

Ask yourself if what you are about to say is lovely, of good report, pure, virtuous, etc. If the words you are about to speak fail the think test, then do not speak them to others.

READ: Joshua 7:16-9:2; Luke 16:1-18; Psalm 82:1-8; Proverbs 13:2-3

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