To overcome the Blabbermouth Blues, James instructs us to speed up and to slow down: “Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness (James :19).”
How do you develop the “slow to speak” skill? A good regimen to practice is a three question set. Before you speak, ask yourself:
• Is what I’m about to say the truth the whole and nothing but the truth?
• Is what I’m about to say kind, or is it degrading?
• Is what I’m about to say necessary and beneficial to the person to whom I’m speaking?
The wisdom literature of the Bible speaks about your manner of speech:
• Psalm 19:13-14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
• Proverbs 16:24: Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
• Proverbs 29:20: Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Solomon draws a contrast in Ecclesiastes 10:11-13, and it show a cause and effect relationship concerning your speech: “A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; the babbler is no different. The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; the words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness.”
Here’s a little rhyme to think of the next time you are afflicted with a case of the Blabbermouth Blues:
Be careful of the words that you daily speak,
For you shall give account at the Judgment Seat.
Be careful of the things you say and do,
Or you’ll find your foot in your mouth,
And not in your shoe.