KJV Below (Link to NIV)
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
It seems pretty self-explanatory. Be careful little mouths what you say. I’m sure we’ve heard dozens of illustrations on this. It’s still good to have the reminder that, despite the rhyme of “sticks and stones,” words do hurt. They have a lasting impact far beyond what we expect. How little yet how great a devastation it can have. My mom, a preschool teacher, once read that psychologically speaking it takes 20 positive affirmations to make up for every 1 negative comment, and that’s not just for children. Think on that.
Are you quick to listen or speak? When you talk with others who does most of the talking? Do you talk mostly about yourself, or listen? When you are in a conversation do you listen, or are you waiting your turn to speak? Can people trust you not to speak about them when they aren’t around?