But the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Proverbs 12:18 (NASB)
This is a verse that I have been rehearsing daily for about a year. I put it on a 3x5 card for review each day because deep in my soul I recognize a tendency to use words "like the thrusts of a sword." I yearn instead to have a tongue that brings healing.
As I've slowly memorized the verse (that's what the intentional daily rehearsing does for me), I've also meditated on the thoughts called out and pulled out a couple of resources for better understanding.
Some months ago, I looked up the word rashly in Webster's 1828 Dictionary: "Rashly--without due deliberation."
Ouch! I was convicted immediately by the now obvious understanding that I was to T.H.I.N.K. before speaking. Hmm...an all-too novel concept for me.
More recently I checked out what John Kitchen has to say about the verse in his insightful commentary, Proverbs,
"Here is the idea of one who unlocks the door of their lips and lets flow whatever the moment may evoke. There is no thought, no weighing of one's words, only reaction. When we speak like this, we wound, even kill relationships...Like a mad man flailing away with a sword in a crowd of innocent people, so the person who does not measure his words wounds many."Even deeper OUCH! How many times have wounded those I love the most? After all I'm most likely to speak without thinking within the confines of my own home. When I react to circumstances and open my mouth without due deliberation, it is my beloved husband and treasured children who are likely to the victim's of my tongue's shrapnel.
My only hope? God's willingness to help.
Thus my new practice is to PRAY when I reach the card with Proverbs 12:18 on it in my rehearsal stack each morning during my time alone with God:
O, Lord, please keep me from speaking rashly today. I cannot do this without You. I am so wont to hurt others with my words. Please help me to think before I speak. Please help me to be like Jesus and only speak words which come from You (John 6:63, 8:28). Please mold me into a person whose tongue brings healing. I am completely dependent on You, Lord. Please help me!