“Loose lips sink ships.” We have all heard that saying before—if not—you have now. This statement originated in World War II warning soldiers the dangers of having loose lips and the possibility of information being passed to the enemy, which would ultimately cost lives. While that may be very true, we can take this same statement and apply it spiritually. Loose lips destroy lives—they do not build up, they do not encourage, they do not strengthen. There are numerous ways to have “loose lips”. The Bible condemns many types of “loose lips”
- Sinful Anger
- Profane Speech
When we use these types of “loose lips” we not only destroy ourselves, but we destroy others. Obviously if we practice these sins we are not walking in the light and therefore condemn ourselves (John 8:31, 15:14; Hebrews 10:26; 1 John 1:5-6). When we gossip about others, when we lie to others, and when we sin in our anger we are sinning against others (Titus 3:1-2). We also must not forget the “Golden Rule” — “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Instead of having “loose lips” we should strive to please God with every word that comes from our mouth.
1. Our speech should be peaceable.
Paul writes in Romans 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” This applies to our speech. The saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the biggest lie we tell our children and even ourselves. Words hold great value. We have been commanded to live peaceably with all men, which includes how we should speak to others. Instead of gossiping, lying to each other, and quarreling let us strive “to speak evil of no one to avoid quarreling, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2). Instead of using sinful words in our anger let us remember what the Proverbs author wrote: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (Proverbs 15:1-2).
2. Our speech should be honest.
The Bible speaks very poorly of those who speak dishonestly. The proverbs tell us that “A dishonest man spreads strife” (Proverbs 16:28) and that “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD" (Proverbs 12:22). As Christians we are not to be a people who cause strife or a people who are dishonest, but as Christians we are to live for Christ obeying His every command.
3. Our speech should be wholesome.
This encompasses every aspect of how we should use our words. Nothing we say should conflict the Word of God or the nature of God. Paul told the Ephesians, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29). He continued later to write, "Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving" (Ephesians 5:4). Before we speak, ask the question(s)--"Is what I'm about to say wholesome?" "Does it encourage?" "Does it agree with what God has commanded?" Remember the words of Christ: "I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37). Let us all strive to use our words to glorify God.
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