The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)
Guarding our mouth doesn’t mean we’re always silent. There’s a time to speak and a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). When we speak when we shouldn’t, we get ourselves into trouble. It’s happened to me more than I care to admit, and probably more than I realize.
The photo reminds me that speaking when we shouldn’t puts us on the hook. It takes us where we don’t want to go. And it hurts – ourselves and others – even if we don’t realize it at the time.
The solution is simple – difficult and challenging but simple. We need to use our filter. Actually, we need to use God’s filter. We only discern best when we rely on Him.
Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal. And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell. (James 3:3-6)