“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16

The Art Of Managing Your Mouth

By Dr. Rick Warren

If you're a typical business or professional person, according to communication experts, you:

  • Average 30 conversations a day.
  • Will spend 20 percent of your life talking.
  • Will speak enough words in one year to fill 66 books, each 800 pages in length!

The average man speaks 20,000 words a day. The average woman speaks 30,000. (Maybe this explains why some husbands have nothing to say when they get home at night and their wives are so eager to converse: A man might have used up his daily allotment of 20,000 words at work, but his wife could do the same and still have 10,000 words remaining in her daily quota!)

We have become a world of talkers. Talk is everywhere: talk radio, TV talk shows, car phones, cell phones. The problem is this: The more you talk, the greater the odds are that your mouth will get you into trouble!

Here are some simple suggestions for “mouth management” from the Bible.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! Pause and engage your mind before opening your mouth. “Intelligent people think before they speak.  What they say is then more persuasive” (Proverbs 16:23). "You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say” (Proverbs 18:20).

 ALWAYS SPEAK THE TRUTH. We often hold back the truth to avoid conflict. We do not want to “rock the boat.”  Eventually, however, this approach makes things worse. Dishonesty destroys relationships. “Someone who holds back the truth causes trouble" (Proverbs10:20). 

 A real friend will be honest with you. "An honest answer is the sign of a true friendship" (Proverbs 24:26). “In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery" (Proverbs 28:23).

 SPEAK THE TRUTH WITH LOVE. This is the filter for the second point above. Never use truth as a club to batter people. “Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as a sword, but wisely spoken words can heal" (Proverbs 12:18).  "A word of encouragement does wonders!" (Proverbs 12:25).

 SPEAK TO HEAL, NOT TO WOUND. With careless words often we can cause more long-term injury than striking someone physically. For that reason, we must be careful to use words that will produce a positive, beneficial result. “Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”(Ephesians 4:29).

And finally, ASK GOD FOR HELP IN MANAGING YOUR MOUTH.I love the Living Bible translation of Psalm 141:3,"Help me Lord, to keep my mouth shut!"

Rick Warren is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century.