Some of us are old enough to remember being taught American History in school. Eventually we got around to the topic of World War II and the famous “Loose Lips Sink Ships” motto.
When I was a kid I didn’t think much of this mainly because WWII was in the past, the Vietnam war was going on until my senior year on HS but it was front and center on the TV so what was there to tell.
Then a few years later I was a Sergeant in the Army and a few days before a major deployment I was off base getting haircut and this Korean barber says to me “you going with all the other GI on Thursday.” What, where had she gotten this classified info and from who’s loose lips?
Well the bible has similar warnings many of them in the Wisdom Books of Psalms and Proverbs. Here is one I chose for today:
En las muchas palabras no falta pecado; Mas el que refrena sus labios es prudente. (RVR 1960)
As with yesterday’s Devotional on Proverbs 10:24 getting the proper context is not easy since we have a collection of sayings. The preceding verse v.18 speaks of foolish slanders and hidden hatred coming from peoples lips. While v.20 contrasts the tongue of a righteous person being precious like silver and the heart of a wicked person being worthless.
v.19 When words are many
This is actually quite simple to understand. Just as in Loose lips sink ships, an over abundance of words does little for any man.
If you are going to say something be sure and think it through ahead of time. What proceeds out of your mouth both defines and defiles (dishonors, soils, degrades) a person Matthew 15:11,18. What are the consequences, repercussions of my actions upon myself and others?
transgression is not lacking,
I know of no one who does not like to profit from their actions. Yet so often folks speak out with abandon when only one thing comes from loose lips, (quick tongue) using unprofitable and evil words, is SIN.
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Just as we were asked to not reveal the plans for an upcoming deployment so too God asks that we keep from shooting our mouth off at the slightest provocation.
John Gill in his commentary says this:
but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise;
lays a restraint on his mouth, bridles his tongue; does not suffer his lips to utter anything rashly and inconsiderately; is sparing of his words and is careful of what he says, that it is true and proper to be spoken; and considers well the time when, place where, and persons to whom he speaks; and, all circumstances weighed, conducts accordingly: such a man is a wise, prudent, and understanding man; see ( Proverbs 17:27-28 ) .
Man in his deprived state (that is apart from Christ) cannot hope to bridle his tongue. For many a man even with Christ, they will fight that battle regularly and it is a battle worth fighting.
Remember the tongue and lips are but small members of of the body but with them we can do great damage to others. This is not to say we should not speak out against wrong doings. However we would be wise to adhere to the wisdom of David:
Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?
Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Loose Lips?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?