Last post, I wrote about the need to think before you speak. Interestingly, my devotions have recently walked me through Proverbs. Whether you have a relationship with Christ or not, Proverbs should be required reading for all leaders and people in positions of prominence. It truly is a gift of God's common grace to all people.

I am struck by Proverbs 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." When I was a young Christian, someone told me if you think it, you might as well say it because Jesus knows what you think. No sense holding it in. This verse seems to say something different.

What we cannot forget is that God has given the believer a spirit of self control (2 Tim 1:7). We recognize that there are some things that when said aren't helpful. Things said in haste, anger, frustration and the like are all things that are best left unsaid.

As a husband and a dad, this verse has particular application for me. I realize that my words, when spoken out of anything but love, can damage my boys or my wife. Wisdom seeks the best for people which means we speak words that help them grow in Christ rather than tearing them down. If I want to help present them in full Christian maturity, then I need to heed the lessons of Proverbs 29:11.

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