“Lay your hand upon your mouth.” Pr 30:32 AMP
Your tongue is just inches from your brain, but the way some of us rattle on you’d think our mouths and minds were miles apart! James says, “The tongue…corrupts the whole person” (Jas 3:5-6 NIV). Author Ramona Cramer Tucker writes: “I admit I’m a talker …I don’t set out to break a confidence, but somehow my mouth kicks into gear before my brain…But God takes a clear stand on gossip. He knows loose lips can ruin another person’s reputation, introduce mistrust into a relationship, encourage the gossiper to embellish their tale, and cause them to sin by being tempted to lie when confronted…I love to share news, to be ‘in the know,’ and because I’m wired this way it’s easy for me to spread gossip under the guise of being well-meaning, even prefacing my news with ‘I wish you’d pray for’…But just because my sharing is well-meant doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.” The most common reason for making someone else look bad—is to make ourselves look good! We are like the proud Pharisee in the temple who stood alone and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people” (Lk 18:11 NCV). The writer of Proverbs says, “If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or…thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth.” It’s one thing to think bad thoughts—it’s another to voice them. The saying goes: “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair!” So do yourself and everybody around you a favor—practice putting your brain in gear before engaging your mouth.