Guard Your Mouth
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. —Proverbs 21:23
Let there be a door on your mouth so that it can be shut when necessary. Let it be closed carefully so that no one can rouse your voice to anger and make you pay back abuse with abuse. You have heard it read, “Be ye angry and sin not.” Therefore, although we are angry (as a result of our nature, not our will), we must not utter one evil word with our mouths, lest we fall into sin. But our words should be…humble and moderate so that our tongues are enslaved to our minds. Hold your tongue in check with a tight rein. Restrain it and call it back to moderation. Test the words it utters by scales of justice so that if your meaning is serious, your speech has substance and your words have gravity. Those who abide by this will be patient, gentle, and modest by guarding their mouths, restraining their tongues, thinking before they speak, and weighing their words. Such people question whether or not to say something or give an answer and ponder whether it is an appropriate time for their remark…. We should act like this for fear that our words, which should give beauty to our inner lives, would plainly show that we have evil morals.
All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.
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