“Those who control their tongues have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” 13:3
There isn’t much to add to this verse to help it ring true more than it already does. Everyone can relate. The reader who struggles to filter their thoughts. The cynic. The gossip. The careless romantic, blurting their feelings to the most inappropriate recipient. And the Bible is not vague about this struggle! It openly warns us against our greatest foe: our own thoughts spilling out of our mouths. James 3 gives relatable comparisons of the tongue being like a wildfire, spreading without our control and burning everything down. 1 Peter 3:10 chimes in, telling us that controlling our speech will grant us a life protected from evil.
The proverbs are the only part of the Bible that extend a tangible how-to on this topic. How do we control our tongues? Shut your mouth.
But seriously, how? I often find myself mid sentence, my inner self pleading STOP TALKING, DON’T SAY THAT as my lips fail me.
Prayer, people. Prayer is our friend. Sometimes I just ask God to “let me be marked by your control, not mine”. I harp on myself daily for my lack of self-control, but truly I am wildly successful at letting my Self be in control. What I need measurable growth in is being controlled by the Spirit.
Take inventory of your actions the rest of the day. What prompts the things you say? The Spirit, or your Self? Here’s my list so far:
-Greeting my toddler at 5am this morning, just a handful of hours after I slipped into sleep. Spirit.
-Snapping at my husband to just LET ME FINISH MY COFFEE PLEASE before we problem-solve today’s tasks. Self.
-Offering a gracious answer to the customer service representative who rudely asked me the same question three times. Spirit.
What’s your list so far?