The Tongue Can Be a Blessing 2

But the tongue must learn something else: during times of distress it must keep silent, for its indiscriminate use may cause the betrayal of a friend and brother. The tongue must know how to thwart an enemy’s fatal intentions and break the power of evil. Even a foolish man will be regarded as wise if he knows when to hold his tongue. This did not escape the notice of King Solomon, as recorded in the Book of Proverbs. It may be why a popular proverb says, Speech is silver but silence is golden. Indeed, for many, keeping silent takes greater willpower than talking.

Is it not strange that such a little organ as the tongue serves such diverse purposes? It makes food and diink appealing to us, it warns us against indulging in spoiled or even poisonous food. In fact, if we do not force our palate to take in unnatural things, if we do not expect it to call good what is really harmful, then it will reward us with its healthy power of evaluation. It is similar with the other function for which this small organ was made, the power to express feelings. The tongue can prove to be an extremely beneficial organ, but it can also turn out to be detrimental. Whether we use it as a positive or negative outlet for our emotions depends on the state of our hearts. That is why Solomon wisely advised us, More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life. And out of the heart”s abundance the mouth speaks.


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