Proverbs 12:18

Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword,
but the words of the wise bring healing.

“When’s the due date?” Rule – never say anything about a woman being pregnant until she makes the announcement to you. I’m not as dumb as you think I am right now. I had heard from someone else that this particular woman was pregnant. I didn’t just assume that she was based on her appearance. I’m not that dumb. Still, I believed what someone had told me, so when I saw her – I asked “When’s the due date?” Oops.

Insert – “awkward conversation from which there is no escape” – here.

Of course, that’s a scenario many of us have experienced in some way, shape or form. And while that’s something we don’t want to do, and definitely feels like we’re on the receiving end of the sword, what today’s proverb speaks of is much worse.

These are those things you say without thinking, the ones that you regret for the rest of your life. And, the person you say them to will remember them for the rest of their lives. These are the things you say the pierce the soul of the hearer. These are the things that people take with them to their grave.

Perhaps it’s in the heat of an argument. Maybe it’s at a point of depression. It can happen when you’re kidding around or when you’re trying to sound smart and impress someone. But these words come out and devastate. And the thing is, they don’t just devastate the hearer, they devastate you as well.

Instead of this, we should be the speakers of healing words. We should be the ones who know when to hold our tongue and keep from saying something we will regret later. We thinking about everything we’re going to say before we say it. That’s called a filter. We filter every word, every phrase. We don’t just respond with words, we think about how the words we are getting ready to say will affect the hearer. If they are not beneficial, they aren’t worth sharing.

Imagine if we stopped tearing people down. Imagine if we stopped talking smack about people behind their backs. Imagine if instead of being negative and trashing a person for the things we don’t like, we focused on the things we do like and the things they are doing well. And then we offer words of encouragement to them in those things. We look for ways to reinforce in positive ways and in positive scenarios the things that we see need improvement.

By the way, speaking your mind and what you think without filtering it is not being authentic. I guess it could be if you’re a jerk. But we can’t use that as an excuse to be a jerk. Instead, let us pursue the Proverbious life in such a way that we speak words of healing and they come from an authentic place deep within our soul.