The story is told of a wealthy grandfather who went to his doctor to be fitted for a special hearing aid. The device not only allowed him to hear perfectly, it was hidden so no one could see it. When he went back for a follow-up visit, the doctor said, ‘Your family must be happy to know that now you can hear.’
The grandfather said, ‘Well, I haven’t told them about my hearing aid. I just sit around and listen to their conversations—and I’ve already changed my will three times!’
The Bible says, ‘The prudent hold their tongues.’ And this isn’t only a law of speech, it’s a law of science. The odds of putting food in your mouth grow exponentially the more times you open it. To put it another way, the potential for saying the wrong thing rises proportionately to the amount of words you say. Ever notice that the person who habitually throws in their ‘two cents’ worth’ frequently says something that’s worth about two cents, or less?
The writer of Proverbs says, ‘Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.’ (Proverbs 29:20 NIV) A man walked into a pet shop one day, where a colourful parrot was sitting on a perch. The man looked at the bird, and in a cocky tone asked, ‘Hey, stupid, can you speak?’ To his amazement the parrot replied, ‘Yes, stupid, can you fly?’
Why does God say so much about offences of the tongue? Because when you sin with your tongue, you offend Him, affect others, and hurt yourself.