The Words We Hold

"But no human being can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?." (1)

"The blow of a whip raises a welt, but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen because of the tongue…See that you fence in your property with thorns, lock up your silver and gold, make balances and scales for your words, and make a door and a bolt for your mouth. Beware lest you err with your tongue, lest you fall before him who lies in wait." (2)

The Bridled Tongue

My tongue is an unbridled stag,
Which gallops where'er its mind goes:
At whim, it wanders with its wag.
What consequence? God only knows!

The bridled tongue is held in place;
It chomps the bit at ev'ry slight.
This self-control's a gift of grace --
Hearts are upheld when tongues are tight.

O Lord, grant me this self-control:
To hold my tongue when it could harm;
To cherish silence in my soul,
Until my words are safe and warm.

The word you hold remains your own;
Silence is gold -- a cornerstone..

(c) Paul Buis, 2001

(1) James 3: 8-11
(2) Sirach 28:17,18,24-26