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Proverbs 13:3 NIV

“The old Arab proverb is appropriate: ‘Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat.’” (Allen P. Ross) There have been many times that I sure could have used a neon sign flashing in front of my eyes with this proverb.  The Arab referred to here (not Solomon) must have found himself in the same situations I have. Responding in kind (harshly) can be a relationship killer. For that matter, it can kill a job opportunity and many other opportunities. This verse from Proverbs does not speak to always having the right verbal response; it just highlights the immeasurable value of staying silent and reviewing our words in light of the situation. A proper response, more often than not, is silence, a smile, a nod or a simple blank stare. When I was young, swallowing my words seemed like a sellout or a coward’s response. With some age, and better biblical knowledge, silence as a response seems often the better part of valor. We do well to reflect on the relationships lost and opportunities squandered by quick, rash responses. This exercise can be invaluable when we find ourselves in the next moment tempted to get even or take a shot with an ill-timed response. I heard a preacher say last Sunday that he went through Proverbs putting a “T” next to every verse in Proverbs dealing with the tongue. It was a bunch. Today, practice silence; you will speak volumes. #BeTheEdge


“…I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” Psalms 39:1 NIV