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Friday, December 7, 2012

Best to Bridle

We hear it all the time: “Let it out.” “Express yourself.” “Get it off your chest.” “Say what you think.”

And, when we do, we hurt others, we hurt ourselves, we stick our foot in. The results of speaking our mind aren’t always positive. In fact, many times we do more harm than good.

“Tweet me at . . .” Texting, blogging, social networking, forums . . . .  All the time, we’re being transparent with hundreds of people. We’re touching their lives, and we probably don’t even know who they all are. Do we need to be more careful?

I’m not talking about slander here, nor nasty speech. Just unnecessary words.

The Bible addresses this issue:

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding (Proverbs 17:28).

A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards (Proverbs 29:11).

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:34b-36).

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (James 3:2).

Many times, it’s better to keep silent. Many times, it’s better to edit and revise what we write (tweet, blog, text, share), instead of letting it all out. Many times, we say things we don’t mean to say, but there’s bitterness in our heart, and we just blurt it out. (If we could only take it back . . . .) Many times, the people we hurt most are the people we love the most—our husband, our children, our friends, our parents, our siblings. How sad!

Good old practical James says that if we can control our little tongue, we can control our whole big body. Exactly.

I like what Jesus says in Matthew 12 (above) about good speech emanating from the good treasure in our heart. Do we have “good treasure” in our heart?

The lessons for us?
  • If in doubt, be quiet. (Someone might think you are wise!)
  • Don’t say all you think. Think first. (It doesn’t hurt to pray first, either.)
  • Make sure your heart is right, so your speech will be right.
  • Remember you will give account for idle words.
  • Ask for God’s help in not offending others. Ask Him for help in bridling (holding back) your tongue.

As we approach this Christmas season, we will probably have gatherings with family and friends. May we keep in mind that it’s best to bridle. It will make a difference.

God bless!


  1. Although I do like tweeting, Facebook, etc., I do sometimes find myself wanting to "vent" when something bugs me. I wonder why I don't feel as compelled to "vent" good things? These things should be taken to the Lord first, and probably more often that not our hearts corrected rather than vented.

  2. Love this, Barbara! Let's vent good things! :o)


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