I came across the following on Janea Lipscomb’s facebook page a few months back:
Never trust your tongue, when your heart is bitter or broken. Hush until you’re healed.
Wow, very true but so difficult to do. I began to think about how many not so pleasant situations that I could have personally avoided if I had just not spoken. The majority of time, even if we’re not clear on the “why”, we generally know if we’re “feeling some kinda way” and we may end up sharing a not so well thought out response. It is easy to tell others to not send the email yet or to wait until tomorrow to answer, but when it is the man or woman in the mirror it can be a bit more challenging to receive that advice. However, the need for our tongues to be managed is not a new idea. It is shown very clearly in the bible that God was aware of the negative impact that our tongues could have as well.
For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongues from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3: 10
Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… James 1:19
The tongue has the power of life and death,… Proverbs 18:21
These verses are just a few examples of how the tongue is discussed in the bible.
My advice to you and to myself, is that if we don’t like thinking “we should not have said that” or have deep conviction and guilt over something we said, we need to put our tongues in check. If we have the ability to wait to answer, comment or provide feedback, we should take advantage of that time and consider what we want to accomplish with our response. If the root of our response contains revenge or giving someone a piece of our mind or something similar, we need to be quiet because we are still hurting. Once the root of our response contains a true desire to reconcile, bring understanding and/or build/rebuild a relationship, only then we should speak.