Back in WWII, the War Advertising Council created propaganda posters as part of a campaign to advise servicemen and citizens to avoid careless talk concerning secure information that might be used by the enemy. The signs read loose lips sink ships.
But have you ever considered this: loose lips sink relation-ships?
Solomon wrote: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Proverbs 17:28). Whether the subject is gossip or grumbling, silence is the golden key that keeps the door to destructive words locked away. And sometimes the most powerful words of a woman are no words at all, for silence can be an outward sign of inward strength.
David, I plead with God to “set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).
The book of Proverbs is filled with wise words about the use of our words:
[She] who guards her lips guards [her] life, but [she] who speaks rashly will come to ruin (Proverbs 13:3). Do you see a [woman] who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for [her] (Proverbs 29:20). [She] who answers before listening—that is [her] folly and [her] shame (Proverbs 18:13).
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t speak, but that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Is what we’re about to say.
T – True
H – Helpful
I – Inspiring
N – Necessary
K – Kind
Some of the most poignant moments of Jesus’s arrest were the silent ones. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). And for you and me, some of our most powerful moments will be the ones in which we remain silent. Some of the most powerful words are the ones that are withheld.
Heavenly Father, I know the death and life of a relationship is often in the tongue. Help me to control my tongue, to think before I speak. Help me to speak words that are true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.
In Jesus’s name,