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A Tool That Builds or Destroys

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues protect themselves from calamity.

Proverbs 21:23


I know someone who was fired from his job because he could not keep a secret. His boss had asked the leadership staff to keep something under absolute confidentiality, and this person, trying to impress some friends, shared that information with them. When the company owner discovered this breach of confidentiality, he immediately fired the person who opened his mouth. 


The person had worked for the company for five years, and five minutes of foolishness destroyed his reputation in business. Once other companies heard why he was fired, no one wanted to hire him. The saddest thing was that the people who told others about this person’s lack of prudence were his supposed friends with whom he shared confidential information. 


In the twenty-first chapter of Proverbs, Salomon tells us that when we guard our mouths, we protect ourselves from calamity. I don’t think any of us will disagree with Salomon’s declaration. Still, I am writing about it this week to remind us that our tongues can get us in big trouble unless we give the Holy Spirit control. 


I have witnessed countless friendships crumble due to a single ill-considered word. While we can uplift and encourage people with our speech, it is far easier to wound and offend. A single word can inflict deep, lasting pain, and it may take years for that damage to heal if it ever does. That is the power of our words, which we must wield with utmost caution and mindfulness. 


Therefore, I remind us today to lean on the Holy Spirit for guidance in our speech this week and always. Let us seek His intervention in every word that escapes our lips. By doing so, we can avert disaster, always mindful that our tongues are tools that can either build or destroy our lives and the lives of others. Every word we utter has the potential to breathe life or unleash calamity. 


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