Today is the second installment of my series of personal tips for long life based on what the Bible says. The first one was to honor your parents. You can read it here. To have a long life is not just about the food you eat. Its also about your relationship with other people, especially how you talk to them.
Consider Proverbs 13:3, “Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Talking without thinking can shorten your life. How so?
1. When you talk about other people behind their back, its called gossip or back stabbing. One who talks too much about another person, even if its true or not, may incur the ire of that person. Gossip can kill you. Back-stabbing can kill you–its stabbing after all. These acts can damage a person’s honor, integrity and pride. These are traits that are sacred to some and held in high esteem. A person can endure physical pain but may snap if those that they value are touched.
2. When you are angry and inclined to vent your emotion by talking can inflict harm on yourself and to others. That is why when you are in such a situation, the best thing to do is count to 10 and if that is not enough, count up to 100. Taking a deep breathe will also help. The point is that when you are angry, do not talk. You would be a lot more prone to saying something that you may regret later. And if it does happen, regretting what you say, then, it may be too late.
3. The tendency to babble on and on may leave without friends who may help you in times of need. There are people who do not want to listen to you talk and talk and talk. Its true! It would be wise to be able to discern such moments and be able to hold your tounge.
4. When you do not have control of our tongue, you would be a lot more prone to hurting people with insults, criticisms, negative words, slander and the like.
The bottom line is that talking without thinking can shorten your life span. If you are this person, remember the words of the Apostle James: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19