Proverbs 13:3

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;

  he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”

Proverbs 13:3 ESV

Abraham Lincoln often has been credited with saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” Many people undoubtedly believe Lincoln was thinking of Proverbs 13:3. However, the emphasis in this verse is not to be silent, but to be guarded in what you say. Don’t just rattle off at the mouth. Rather, say valuable, life-giving, helpful things.

Ephesians 4:28 captures the point well: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Notice that Paul is not saying be silent or don’t say bad things. He is saying instead of bad things, say good things. Guard your tongue.

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