Today’s Bible readings are 2 Kings 9:14-10:31, Acts 17:1-34, Psalm 144:1-5, & Proverbs 17:27-28
27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Have you ever said something that got you into trouble? I think that is something that all of us have experienced. Our tongue is not an easy thing to hold, but it proves to be wise if we learn to discipline ourselves in this way.
5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
I know what it is to have my tongue set things on fire. I have said things in the heat of the moment that weren’t said the best way. There have been other times that I have said things that I probably should have kept to myself. Then, there have been times when I have said things in anger that only made things worse. These are all ways that we can send tiny sparks setting fire to things & others around us.
I like how we are told that it is wise to keep quiet. There is a lot of talk that is meaningless & not needed. Here is what James has to say on the matter:
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
What I am learning is that it is twice as important to listen as it is to speak. It is also twice as important to keep my mouth closed in certain situations as it is to speak & say something that will bring death & destruction with it.
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
This is really saying that if we can’t learn to control our tongue then we will never be able to control other areas of our lives. We want to be perfect & grow toward perfection. This is going to require us to tame our tongues. Spend time thinking before you speak & be a person of true wisdom. Let your words be few & true!