That’s my life in a simple three-word sentence. I heard most of my childhood “Put mind in gear before putting mouth in motion.” I hated that saying because I heard it so much. But at times I have no filter. If I think it, I say it. And boy do I get in trouble when it happens.
I am a Mom and sometimes Moms have to say things our kids would rather they did not. Clean underwear aside (never understood why my Mom told me that one), I remind mine to send emails to teachers and get an eye roll just before she hangs up. Sometimes I say something that even I think, why did I say that. Recently it happened. As soon as I said it, I regretted it. Not just because it was stupid, but the implications of the statement were never thought about. It wasn’t like I thought my daughter would do whatever it was that was being discussed, I just was hearing another Mother’s daughter’s story and opened my mouth and out came the words, “I hope you never think of doing that.” Did you cringe? I did.
Solomon asked God for wisdom. God gave him that wisdom. But he didn’t keep it to himself, he shared it with us. Proverbs 21:23, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” If only I had committed that verse to memory! I try to guard my mouth, but sometimes it opens, and the words come out of nowhere. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, shut up! The other saying I heard was, “Better to keep one’s mouth shut, than to open it and remove all doubt.” (The saying is from Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Or “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”). This saying is also found in Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” My Dad was trying to keep me from sounding so stupid.
I am not a Proverbs 31 woman. Proverbs 31:26, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Nope, nowhere in that verse do I find my name. I wish I could live up to the standards that Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 31, but I fall extremely short! This one verse shows me my failure (that and the anger I sparked when I uttered those words to my daughter). So, how do I change my failure? Practice. Just like my Dad was trying to tell me about mind in gear first. I am not talking about practicing being silent, I am talking about practicing what the Bible says. In order to practice the Biblical teachings, I must read them and take them to heart.
Proverbs 2, this chapter talks about wisdom and the value of it. But verses 1-5 says “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the lord and find the knowledge of God.” These verses are not just talking about Wise King Solomon’s words, but God’s word. I can hear God saying these words to me (Take out “My son” and put your name there).
I might be a Proverbs woman after all…I am seeking God’s word, calling out for insight and raising my voice in understanding. I am storing it in my heart so that I can apply it to my daily life. I am in awe of my Father & Creator and I have a healthy understanding of just how powerful he can me, which causes me to tremble. Maybe in time I can be all that Proverbs 31 says about an excellent wife, in the meantime, I will settle for not saying something stupid.