A few months ago, in the height of the so-called flu season, my whole extended family got sick. The reason: Well, one of the little ones (I won’t mention his name) began coughing and sneezing all over the place and he didn’t have the courtesy of covering his mouth.

                There were germs and bacteria flying all around, thanks to the sneezing bandit. My wife tried to justify him by saying that he was too small, but I think that at 10 months, a baby should already know that he needs to cover his mouth when he coughs, don’t you agree?

                Something similar happened to me two weeks before this writing. I was working in the yard, digging some rocks out of the dirt and I did a very good job, except that I forgot to cover my mouth and nose with a mask. Afterward I was blowing and spitting dirt and blood out of all the holes in my head (except my eyes and ears).

                These two incidents have taught me a lesson: There are times in life when we need to cover (or shut) our mouths. Men talk too much and women talk even more. It is good to remember what the Bible says (pun intended) about this issue.

                In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”            (Proverbs 10:19)

                “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.”                                  (Ecclesiastes 5:7)

               “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

               “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3, 4)

               “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

               “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

               “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2)

                There is so much more that Bible teaches about the use, misuse and abuse of our mouths, such as being “slow to speak” (James 1:19), to be men (and women) of few words (Ecclesiastes 5:2), to work more and talk less (Proverbs 14:23), to avoid trouble by replying with a “soft answer” (Proverbs 15:1), to “avoid irreverent babble” (2 Timothy 2:16) and to use our words “to bring healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

                Let us then cover our mouths, and open them only to bring glory to God.

                A. G.

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