Verse 28: The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
While playing cards, they used to know whose turn it was when the game came to a halt. "It must be Steve's turn", they would say. Another would say, "Study long, study wrong". I probably take too long to consider my next move to a fault, but it has saved me some heartache as well. Thinking about my next move in cards, while playing out the different scenarios that could result from my play - would often slow down the game. I guess cards aren’t the only area of my life that I exercise this practice.
When dealing with people, this can be a valuable attribute. Even when people are being mean or ugly, carefully choosing your words is essential. Or as today's gold nugget says; "The heart of the righteous studies how to answer". Consider the differant scenarios or potential reactions that poeple may have from the words you choose. Wicked and foolish people pour evil out of their mouth. The scripture clearly describes the behavior of the righteous and of the wicked. What best describes you? Are you someone that says whatever hurtful thing comes to mind without regard to the harm it will cause? Or are you someone that stills your tongue and considers carefully what your response will be if you will give any response at all?
Processing your thoughts before acting or speaking and then feeling confident that what you are going to say is okay with the Lord is what is expected of a Christian that walks in wisdom. We can't continue to speak what is on our minds at the expense of others and refer to ourselves as Christians. We don't want people to think that is how we all act. Protect the name of the Lord and the effectiveness of other Christians by proving what defines a child of God.
Lord, give me the strength to hold my tongue and the wisdom to respond with truth and love. Remind me that I don't need to rush my response to someone's opposition of me. If I can have the self control to stop my tongue, I know you will give me the wisdom of when and how to start it up again. Amen