Bite your tongue

Read Proverbs 29

Focus on verse 11

The most difficult time to control what I say is typically when I am very angry for some reason. There have been times when I have said things in heated moments that I wish later had been left unsaid. I can’t think of one instance where freely giving verbal vent my feelings has benefitted myself or anyone else within earshot. More often than not the result has been the opposite, and I have had to apologize and attempt to repair the relational damage that results.

In today’s proverb we read “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” This is not to suggest that there are not times when verbal confrontations need to be navigated. It is just that it is most often best to wait until the emotional storm has blown over and the waves have settled a little before attempting the operation. When I was in college a wise professor once shared with us that when he felt strongly that he needed to make a verbal confrontation he would often wait a day or two before doing so. He noted that by the second day if he still felt the need to confront he could do so with less risk of losing emotional control, and that very often by the second day he would realize that once the emotions had dissipated, there was no longer any need to make the confrontation.

I suspect that this sage advice could possibly save some of us a heap of heartache if we would just hold back and bite our tongue instead of giving full vent to our thoughts in the heat of the moment.

The wise person holds back in the heat of the moment, which very often will diffuse a potentially volatile situation. If at a later time it still seems appropriate to say something, it will not only give time for emotions to dissipate, but it will also provide opportunity to think through how to best approach the confrontation in a manner that is less likely to generate an emotional reaction. In most cases much unnecessary strife can be avoided when the wise person bites his or her tongue. I might add that this would apply in double measure for those who communicate on social media.


About Dented-Knight

Peter Enns (aka - The Dented Knight) is a native of rural southern Manitoba, Canada. He is an ordained minister, the proprietor of LNE Web Services, father of four, grandfather of two, and life long husband of one. 
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