Back in the era of black and white TV, one of my favorite shows was "The Honeymooners." The show was about the ups and downs of Ralph and Alice Cramden. Ralph was a bus driver, Alice, a homemaker. Ralph had a big heart, but trouble with his mouth. Alice possessed practical wisdom, and exhibited grace.
Hardly an episode went by without Ralph saying something he shouldn't have. When he realized this, he opened his mouth wide, and said, "Me and my biiiiig mouth!"
It looked like this.
I have said the same, about myself. I've also had moments where I wanted to say something harmful, but didn't. When this happens I thank God for helping me keep my big mouth shut.
James 3:5-6 says,
It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. (The Message)
Richard Foster writes,
"Since sins of speech are so prevalent in human interaction, James offers wisdom to church leaders and members on how these can be avoided in their fellowship. Those who teach must weigh their words with care. But all Christians must be careful with the use of the tongue. A Christian’s speech should bless, not berate or abuse. The tongue betrays the world that is in one’s heart; it is a microcosm of the inner self."
Here's my prayer, for myself.
God, help me to know when to speak and when to keep silent.