The biblical writers have so much to say about the tongue, and here we are, again: “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul” (18:6-7). In contrast to the fool, who speaks quickly, often harshly, and many times without understanding, “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body” (18:8). And, so, Solomon concludes, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (21:23).
Oh my, I think everyone of us understands, from personal experience, the wisdom found in these proverbs. Who has not spoken quickly in anger and without understanding? Who has failed to keep his tongue and, thus, stayed out of trouble? We have all spoken thusly. We have all failed to keep our tongues. But here’s the thing: we are not what we once were, slaves to sin, and we have God’s Word, his Spirit, and fellow believers to encourage us and to mold us. Let us be whisperers, not screamers. And, of course, if we are often talking about our God and his goodness, we will have less time to speak wrongly.
Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme,
And speak some boundless thing,
The mighty works or mightier Name
Of our eternal King.
Tell of His wondrous faithfulness
And sound His power abroad;
Sing the sweet promise of His grace,
The love and truth of God. –Isaac Watts (18th century)