Home > Uncategorized > Guard that Mouth – Pleasure in the Proverbs

Guard that Mouth – Pleasure in the Proverbs

As I have been reading and reflecting on the truths in the Proverbs recently it has surprised me how many times Proverbs refers to the way we use our mouths. Here are just a few examples:

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” (Proverbs 10:19 ESV)

“Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:12–14 ESV)

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 ESV)

Now as one who tends to be a talker, and really one who processes thoughts by talking (or writing) this really jumped out at me. For some time I have been working on restraining my lips and using better understanding to remain silent when it is necessary.

These verses give a great reminder of the importance for us to evaluate and guard our words. The truth is that we all struggle with our sin nature, and when we do not restrain our words we allow our sin nature to rear it’s ugly head. This has happened to me a number of times over the years. For example, just chatting and playing around it is easy to let your guard down and say something in jest that offends or hurts another. Unfortunately we see this a great deal in our culture today as true humor has been replaced by sarcasm and crassness. I am working to still laugh and enjoy life with true humor and not resort to sarcasm and crassness to bring laughter. In fact, most of the time it takes much less effort and intellect to be sarcastic and crass in our joking. Let us use the great gift of the mind that God has given us to bring laughter and not pain to others. Let us encourage and build up others, not tear them down and call it humor.

I have also found as one who tends to process better either verbally or on paper that I must use wisdom and discretion in this area. It is not right to simply talk with anyone as you process things in your life, and at times I have made a way for Satan to temp others around me by verbally processing with them. When words are many, instead, I have found it beneficial to process on paper, to process with my amazing bride, and to process with those who intimately know my character and understand such discussions as processing and not necessarily my final thoughts on a subject. I would advice much discretion and the guarding of your mouth in this area.

Finally, the hardest part of this lesson is learning to live with and be comfortable with a healthy amount of loneliness. It appears to me that many times we (me include) say too much in hopes of being interesting and being liked. Much of gossip comes in here, we share secrets because we know people always want to hear secrets (can you say Tiger Woods scandal). The truth is, we all must be comfortable with a certain amount of silence, or loneliness. Until we are, we will continue to struggle with our self-control in regard to our mouth. In addition, as the verses share, we will continue find ourselves in ruin and transgression. Maybe not physical or monetary ruin, but the dragging down and darkening of our soul to ruin. We will continue to wrestle with the guilt, the pain, the regret of our ugly mouth.

Or today, we can work to become people who use their words prudently. Ask Jesus to help you, as I am asking Him to help me today. What do you? Do you have any practical examples you can share to help us all? Either stories of failure or how you are doing better?

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