When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Its been said that: “Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you.”  And Proverbs 21:23 teaches that: “Whosoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from trouble.”  That being the case and in order to avoid trouble, the following is a list of situations where it is probably wise to say nothing without giving real serious thought to what you’re doing and the possible consequences.  I know from painful personal experience that each of these admonitions is well founded.  I’m just say’n.  RMF

  Don’t open your mouth:

• In the heat of anger – Proverbs 14:17
• When you don’t have all the facts – Proverbs 18:13
• When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6
• If your words will offend a weaker brother – 1 Corinthians 8:11
• If your words will reflect poorly on the Lord or your friends and family – Peter 2:21-23
• When you are tempted to joke about sin – Proverbs 14:9
• When you would be ashamed of or regret your words later – Proverbs 8:8
• When you are tempted to make light of holy things – Ecclesiastes 5:2
• If the issue is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10
• When you are tempted to tell an outright lie, convey misleading or incomplete information, or leave a wrong impression. – Proverbs 4:24; 17:27, Zachariah 8:16
• If your words will damage someone’s reputation – Proverbs 16:27, Leviticus 19:16
• If your words will destroy or endanger a friendship – Proverbs 25:28
• When you are feeling critical – James 3:9
• When you should be listening – Proverbs 13:1
• If you may have to eat your words later – Proverbs 18:21
• If you have already said it more than once (it becomes nagging) – Proverbs 19:13
• When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:24
• When you are supposed to be working instead – Proverbs 14:23

It is also wise to zip the lip: when tempted to boast, when your words would be idle chatter, if your words would be heard as profanity, and if your words would betray a confidence.

PS – Jamie Jackson, a friend at New Life Christian Church,  just shared the following devotional.  I believe it is a good tag-on to this post so here it is.  RMF (7/5/17)

Jamie Jackson

Jamie wrote:  It’s been said that there are at least three things you can never get back in life: a harsh word after it’s said, a wrong action after it’s done and time after it has passed. I think these even sound biblical.   Proverbs 15:1 says “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and verse 28 says “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.  Proverbs has a lot to say about our words and the things we say. I wonder if we won’t be surprised someday by how much our words hurt others and saddened God.  It’s a much bigger deal than most people ever realize. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says the tongue has the power of life and death. You may never know how God uses your simple words of kindness or encouragement to help someone.  Conversely, you may never know how deep an unkind or sharp word cuts someone.  Let’s together commit to building one another up with every word we speak. 1 Thess. 5:11.


About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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