A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
If you’re a parent, then you know the challenge it is to get your children to choose their words carefully. With our children (we have four), we tell them often that it is not usually their behavior that gets them into trouble, but their words—sassy, argumentative, disrespectful, defiant. Hence, Proverbs 18:6 is a Bible verse we have shared with them often. “A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.” In other words, I like to remind them that if we ask them to do something they don’t like or disagree with, ‘Don’t say that out loud! You can think it, just don’t say it!’ But inevitably they just have to voice their opinion in very sarcastic or disrespectful tones. Don’t get the wrong idea. I have great kids who for the most part have been very easy to raise. Sadly, however, it is not just our children who seem to struggle to understand this. How often do we invite a verbal beating from our spouse or someone else because of our foolish words? The other person says something we don’t like or offends us and rather than respond in a Christ-like manner, with kindness and gentleness, we give into our flesh and lash out in response to get even. Fight fire with fire! Yet the apostle Paul commands that we “repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all” (Rom. 12:17). In the end, if we would only pray for the Holy Spirit to help us control our tongues, to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19; 3:1-8), we would invite fewer beatings and be so much happier in the process.
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