“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Prov. 10:19

Is there any one of us that cannot remember times when we have spoken without thinking carefully about our words? I think it is a human tendency to just open our mouths and let whatever we are thinking come out. I can think of many times when I have wished I could turn back the time and not say some of the things that I did. Once the words are spoken, it is almost impossible to take them back. We can apologize in some cases, but the damage has already been done.

I saw this interesting quote recently: “Make sure your brain is engaged before putting your mouth in gear, unfortunately there is no backspace on our mouth.” What a great rule to follow, but unfortunately, we don’t always take time to think before we speak.

I learned this early in my marriage. Like most couples, my husband and I had times when we did not agree, but I came to the realization that what I did not say, I would not have to apologize for later. As a result, I tried to be very careful about how I responded during an argument or misunderstanding.

I wish I could say that I had always practised this in all my dealings with family and friends, but unfortunately, I have failed many times. I am glad that the Lord is quick to forgive us when we repent, and that most people are kind enough to accept our apologies.

The NLT puts this verse in Proverbs in very plain language: “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we fail you so many times, speaking when we should keep quiet. Thank you for your patience and for the patience of others towards us. Help us to know when to keep our mouths shut.

Devotion by Anne Johnston


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