The Bible talks about the damage our words can do and the impossible task of taming the tongue.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
One our own, we cannot tame our tongues. With God’s help we can use our tongues to steer our conversations, promote peace and build relationships. This requires the skill of biting your tongue appropriately. Just as there are times to speak, even when it is not popular, there are times when the best option is to tame or bite your tongue.
Top Tongue-biting tips:
~When you know your words will tear down more than build up – bite your tongue.
~ When you do not have a relational foundation that will support your words – bite your tongue.
~ When your response is not asked for nor valued – bite your tongue.
~When your emotions are highly charged – bite your tongue.
So, when should you bite your tongue and when should you speak? Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Is it kind?
2. Is it true?
3. Is it necessary?
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.