Read James 3:5-6
5-6 The human tongue is physically small,but what tremendous effects it can boast of! A whole forest can be set ablaze by a tiny spark of fire,and the tongue is as dangerous as any fire,with vast potentialities for evil. It can poison the whole body,it can make the whole of life a blazing hell. (JBP)
We sometimes hear of people rather proudly stating that they are the sort who say just what is on their mind. Steer clear of such people! One of the marks of maturity and love is the capacity to not say what is on our mind!
We might have all sorts of unattractive or hurtful thoughts. One way to combat them is to refuse to articulate them. We bring them to God and ask him to deal with them privately rather than letting others be wounded by them. As our text reminds us,our words can be toxic. And our words,once said,cannot be unsaid.
How much harm is done to families and workplaces and churches by people not thinking before speaking. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that it should be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him or her.
Honesty and truthfulness are not the same as speaking out all that is on our hearts and minds. There is a place for openness and a place for restraint. A time to speak and a time to be silent. More of the latter and less of the former might yet be the way to go!