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Don't let your mouth write checks your body can't cash

Proverbs  12:16 (Septuagint)-“A fool declares his wrath the same day; but a prudent man hides his own disgrace."     This verse is so pointed and clear in the Septuagint- the Greek version of the Old Testament. What it is saying is that when some situation occurs that tempts us with anger, annoyance, irritation or offense, it is the fool who runs his mouth about it. We do not think in these terms lately. It is common place nowadays to “vent” our feelings by calling the first person in our contact list that will listen and telling them all about how awful that other person or situation was. I have witnessed both through my own mouth and through the mouths of others. It is not pleasant either way. The closer I draw to God, the more it vexes me to speak this way or to hear others speak this way.       The Lord is using this verse today to divide my heart. When I was younger I learned to be boastful in wickedness. I learned to proclaim how mean and tough I was should someone disrespect me. This was an immature and foolish pursuit. I could not, nor did I want to engage in physical altercations. As well, this foolishness drove people from my presence which was opposite the truest desires of my heart. God forbid that I remain declaring my own wrath the same day from now on. Far be it from me to say things like-“That made me so mad or that pissed me off…etc.”  The Lord be praised who helps me hide my own disgrace. Incidentally to declare one’s wrath in the same day that it is provoked is disgraceful. So too is retaining sin for the purpose of brooding over it. Love is not easily provoked and therefore upon extended provocation, the Spirit of Love reacts  not with immediate declarations of wrath, but with prayerful grace and consideration for the instruction found in the Word and direction of God. Then the Spirit of Love will forgive and yet not allow sin to remain. If need be, it will be angry and not sin, not hate his brother by leaving him bound in sin or go to his brother and tell him the offense between the two of them alone.      Notice the end of the verse, it doesn’t say that things don’t bother the prudent man, but that he hides his own disgrace. This can be understood as keeping his mouth shut when he has the opportunity to verbally react to a tense situation. As alluded to above, the main reason that we should, as children of God hide our own disgrace in this way is so that we may exhibit the love of God. However, I believe that there are practical reasons too. Have you ever done this? Just get mad at someone or something and then “lose your cool”? I’m guessing that you have. And have you ever “lost your cool” and the person who you were upset with came and told you how whatever happened was an accident and that they were sorry? Or what about if you lost it and found out that the cause for the whole situation was your fault? I know I have absolutely been in both of those positions and I felt absolutely foolish afterward. This is the practical reason that God tells us that since we are His children and He has given us the power to walk in prudence, then we should keep our traps shut when someone or something gets under our skin! We should take the situation and keep our emotions in check while we consult what the Word instructs us to do with the situation. This is the prudent thing and if we listen, we will exhibit God’s love and we will save ourselves from eating crow!

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