“From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good, but the desire of the treacherous is violence. The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:2-3 (NASB)
Perhaps you’ve heard the quip, “Loose lips sink ships?” It’s an American English idiom meaning “beware of unguarded talk.” The phrase originated on propaganda posters during World War II. Coined as a slogan by the US Office of War Information’s attempting to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to enemy spies. Another common way of saying we’ve said something we shouldn’t have is to “put our foot in our mouth.” It means one has said something foolish, embarrassing, or tactless. Today’s verse from Proverbs is also a good caution and has both a positive and negative result promised. The parallels here are implied. A man of good words prospers, but a man of evil words (thus unfruitful to God) provokes violence against himself. Being careful about what we say helps keep us out of trouble. But speaking hastily and thoughtlessly brings on trouble to ourselves and to others. By our reckless words we makes promises we can’t keep, or perhaps we offend, or misrepresent. People learn not to depend on what we say and do not want to be around us. Consequences may be that we suffer financially or physically.