“You never have to ask what’s on his mind.”
“I’m a brutally honest person.”
Some people take statements like these as a compliment. In a culture that often lacks sincerity and authenticity, someone “who tells it like it is” or who “speaks his mind” can be heralded as a type of hero.
But if we view speaking one’s mind as the marks of heroism or virtue, we are sorely mistaken. While society may depict those who “speak freely” as strong, the Bible depicts them as lacking both sense and self-control. Here are some passages about the use of our words:
Proverbs 13:3 — “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 15:28 — “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”
Proverbs 17:28 — “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
Proverbs 27:2 — “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.”
James 1:19 — “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
Certainly, honesty and integrity should be found in all the words we speak. By no means, however, does that give us permission to say everything we’re thinking. The Bible’s wisdom on how we use our words is needed as much today as it ever has been. If you want to be blessed and be a blessing today, choose your words carefully, and keep many of them to yourself.