“There is more hope for a fool
than for someone who speaks without thinking” (Proverbs 29:20 NLT).
There is so much wisdom in Proverbs that is applicable for any era and any group of people that it would be difficult to ignore.
A fool can be taught–his/her foolishness unlearned, but the tongue–no one can tame (says James) without discipline.
How many times have we seen and heard people say rash things, without thinking about the consequences of their words? Many are guilty, but it is primarily the celebrities and leaders of nations who are criticized for the things they say, “without thinking” about who can hear (microphone snafus), what they meant, or how what they say is misinterpreted (deliberately in most cases) or perceived by any one group or another.
It is those words that are allowed to escape the mouth, being pushed out with the tongue without allowing the brain to engage that create problems for many. This is why so many people are accused of being homophobic (a term I truly disagree with especially when it is primarily used against those who agree with the Bible), they are accused of being racists, misogynists, pedophiles, molesters, negligent parents, and the list could go on and on–all because–no thought was given to what was being said and how it could be interpreted.
Parents who spank their children to discipline them have been accused of child abuse. This comes from a group of people who do not understand that every child is different and requires different means of discipline. I am a strong advocate of corporal punishment, but not child abuse. No child should be maimed, scarred, or put in harm’s way in any detrimental fashion, but a good, old-fashioned butt-whooping makes them “think” about their behavior. I don’t buy into the sociological philosophy that spanking a kid leads them to becoming violent. I was spanked on more than one occasion and I’m not a violent person. Actually, I’m glad I was disciplined when I needed it–I am a better (not bitter) person for it.
Knowing human nature the way I do, my statement made about discipline will probably be criticized and some will think I’m not a good parent. Those who do not know God can think whatever they want. The better witnesses as to my fitness of being a parent are my children–43 and 35–still alive and think I’m a terrific mom (so they say).
Many of us have “said” things taken out of context and for the most part, if we took the time to “think” about every little thing we said, most of us would never have anything to say. This becomes a situation in which a person is criticized–no matter what–they say or do because some idiot out there is bound to take what is said out of context and spread rumors about the intent. That’s what people do when they have nothing better to do.
On a personal note, I tend to speak my mind–whatever comes up, comes out–no harm intended, but sometimes, that’s what happens. People who know me, know I mean no harm, but I speak truth and sometimes, truth hurts. And just like I dish it, I can take it. I always prefer truth to a camouflaged lie.
If more people were receptive to hearing truth, instead of goading people to say what they want to hear, the world would be a better place and then we would not have to worry about “words” being taken out of context. The world is not necessarily a “pretty place” and our tongues–they can get downright ugly. So if you can, hold your tongue in check until you have time to think about what you “want” to say.