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Proverbs on the Tongue (2nd)

Whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (17:9b) Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a mans inmost parts. (26:20-22) When confidence is broken, relationships suffer The problem is not only a matter of sharing what was told in secret, but hearing it in the first place whoever spreads slander is a fool (10:18) Whenever someone introduces a choice morsel by saying to you, I really shouldnt be telling you this. . . why not tell them, then stop, please dont tell me Remember the biblical pattern for conflict resolution: confront directly (Matthew 18:15) and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:1); never share the problem you have concerning one person with someone else (James 4:11), even if shared in prayerful concern Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. (17:28) More often than not our rash words will get us into trouble, whereas the wisdom to show restraint (23:4) and remaining silent would have served us well A practical application of this proverb: if in doubt, leave it out When overwhelmed at the glory of Christs transfiguration most of us would have been left speechless, but Simon Peter blurted out a meaningless proposal: lets put up three shelters one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah (Mark 9:5) Mark simply reminds us in the next verse, for he did not know what to say (Mark 9:6) This is a good reminder and a direct application of this proverb: if you dont know what to say, then dont say Abraham Lincoln, known for his wisdom and profound sayings, rephrased this proverb in one of his memorable quotes: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt He who answers before listening that is his folly and his shame. (18:13) James reminds us: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (1:19) Our tendency is to be quick to speak and slow to listen, resulting in misunderstanding, conflict, and ultimately humiliation (his folly and his shame) A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and flattering lips works ruin. (26:28) Deceit and flattery are two sides of the same self-centered coin, and both the slanderer and flatterer show hatred to those they intend to harm James reminds us that the tongue is our greatest vulnerability to sin and dishonor God We all stumble in many ways; if anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check (James 3:1)