The code—my own invention to remember at critical times—is an acronym: “Keep my mouth shut.” What I should do more of. I even have biblical backing for it.

The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness. Pro 12.23 NLT.

Not everybody wants to know the answer. Not everybody wants to be helped. Continue reading

The speech of the righteous bears the fruit of wisdom,
but the one who speaks perversion will be destroyed.
The lips of the righteous know what is pleasing,
but the speech of the wicked is perverse.
Proverbs 10.31-32 NET

The righteous person uses the right words because he has a relationship with God and ponders how to bless his neighbor’s life. Continue reading

“Let your words be few,” wrote the Preacher (Ecclesiastes 5.2), and how right he was to give this counsel! How much better the world would be if people talked less, if they stopped throwing words to the wind. With one exception:

With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!”
Acts 2.41 NET

When it comes to the gospel, we ought to talk a lot. Peter preached about Jesus, and people were touched with their need to obey God’s will. Continue reading

consistencyDoes it make a difference how we behave in the world? How we act and speak? Will God’s grace take care of everything, or do we need to pay attention to the details of faith? Do we have a whatever faith?

These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.
James 3:10b NET

James refuses to accept a Christian’s inconsistency. It’s an unacceptable state to God. God is light and in him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). How then can his children allow a mixture of good and evil, of praise to God and cursing one’s neighbor? Continue reading

Affliction
Four lessons from Job's words

Have you ever reached a moment in life when it just didn’t make sense? When the pain was too heavy to bear? When no one understood, and words of comfort merely worsened the affliction?

Then Job responded:
“Oh, if only my grief could be weighed,
and my misfortune laid on the scales too!
But because it is heavier than the sand of the sea,
that is why my words have been wild.
Job 6:1-3 NET

The Lord was not shocked by Job’s words, but his friends, who had never gone through anything similar, answered him harshly.

What can we learn from Job’s words? Continue reading

WordsOn the website “The Straight Dope” someone asks why he starts to cough whenever he cleans his ears with a Q-Tip. The answer: The nerves of the ear and the throat are branches of a single large nerve, the vagus, in the head. In other words, it’s all connected. When you tinker with one, the other one feels it.

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person.
Matthew 15:18 NET Continue reading