“Self-control means controlling the tongue! A quick retort can ruin everything. ” Proverbs 13:3

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Even though the tongue is a small member of our body, it creates many problems and is very difficult to control. We can use it to insult, criticize, slander, and destroy, or we can use it to bless, comfort and build others.

It is important to understand that whatever we communicate will come back to us. What goes around comes around, because words are powerful and they can cause ruin or bring solutions.

We are judged by what comes out of our mouths, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45). The tongue has more to do with the law of sowing and reaping than any other member of our body. Proverbs 21:23 tells us, "Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble." That is good advice, because if we don’t shut it off or control it, it will multiply our problems. When we talk too much we embarrass ourselves, and people will judge us as loose talkers or gossips. And then we will try to justify or deny it, which adds to our problem. Once we lie, trying to save ourselves, it turns into vicious arguments that have no end.

It is always good to be friendly and sociable, but we must discipline the tongue when it comes to bragging, exaggerating, or talking about others. Not everything that comes to our mind is meant to be spoken.

How many times have we gotten ourselves into trouble by talking too much? Gossiping and spreading rumors create all kinds of fighting that will separate us from our family members and friends. After the smoke clears, it will usually point back to those who did not control their tongue. As a business person, it is important that our words expose the control we have, and not the impulsiveness of our tongue.

There are three types of people that are careful with their tongue:

1. The wise man - He understands it is essential to hold a secret.

2. The man of integrity - He never compromises his standards with his words.

3. A smart man - He is humble enough to know that "he doesn’t know," and doesn’t expose himself by opening his mouth. He exemplifies the Proverb that says, "It is better to say nothing and be considered a fool, than to open our mouth and remove all doubt."

If we want a good life, we must stop or control the flow. Self-control is having control over our tongue. We must use our tongue to speak good words. It is like sowing good seeds that will give a positive destiny, not only for ourselves but for others as well. God understands the power of spoken words. He spoke the world into existence. God has given us the power and ability to create good or bad by the power of our words. So be careful with your tongue, for your future will depend on it.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die..