By Joanie Yoder
The tongue of the wise promotes health. —Proverbs 12:18
It’s been estimated that a talkative person may speak 30,000 words a day! But the important question is, how do our words, whether many or few, affect others?
A Greek philosopher asked his servant to cook the best dish possible. The servant, who was very wise, prepared a dish of tongue, saying, “It’s the best of all dishes, for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to bless and express happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair, and spread cheer.”
Later the servant was asked to cook the worst dish possible. Again, he prepared a dish of tongue, saying, “It’s the worst dish, for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to curse and break hearts, destroy reputations, create strife, and set families and nations at war.”
We don’t have to eat tongue to grasp that servant’s point. But we may have to “eat our own words” quite often before we learn to avoid saying things we’d like to retract. Solomon wrote: “The tongue of the wise
promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18). It affirms and encourages others. The key word in that verse isn’t tongue but wise. The tongue is not in control, but the person behind it is.
If you want your tongue to build people up and not tear them down, ask God to make you wise.
A wise old bird sat on an oak—
The more he saw the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Lord, make me like that wise old bird. —Anon.
Wisdom is knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech.
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC