The Power of Unsaid Words

The opportunity was obvious. I could say something that would be the truth, but it would also be hurtful. The words would sting but help me with the argument.

But I held my tongue.

When he spoke, it made me angry. I knew I could not openly attack in this setting, so I thought about making a passive-aggressive statement. It would bring laughter and make him feel the sting of my wit.

But I held my tongue.

My wife was clearly in the wrong. I could yell and let her know that this failure was not acceptable behavior to me.

But I held my tongue.

The Bible has a lot to say about the use of the tongue, especially the book of Proverbs. In Proverbs 18:21, it says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NIV 2011)” The tongue has the power of life … and death. Obviously, he is not speaking of literal death. He is underlining the possibility that the words we use can kill people emotionally. It can break their spirit, ruin a relationship and leave other people feeling dead inside.

Sometimes the most significant thing you can do to improve your life is to hold your tongue. I have done it a few times, and they were some of the best decisions I have ever made. Maybe the most productive thing you can do today is to listen more and speak less.

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