By Rick Boxx
舌頭難以馴服。舌頭就像是馬的銜環或是大船的舵，我們如何使用自己的舌頭也會影響自己的一生。「這樣，舌頭在百體裏也是最小的，卻能說大話。看哪，最小的火能點著最大的樹林。舌頭就是火，在我們百體中，舌頭是個罪惡的世界，能污穢全身，也能把生命的輪子點起來，並且是從地獄裏點著的。」 (雅各書 3章5-6節).
正確使用語言能成為幫助，錯誤使用則會傷害自己。每天謹言慎行，一天就能過得很順利。如果我們說話沒有智慧和衝動，原本很好的一天可能都被破壞了。「謹守口的，得保生命；大張嘴的，必致敗亡。」 (箴言 13章3節).
本文版權為正直資源中心（Integrity Resource Center, Inc.）所有。本文獲得授權改編自瑞克．博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。
備註: 如果你手上有聖經，希望能讀更多和這個主題相關的經文，請參考：箴言 4章24節、10章20-21節、11章12節、12章13-14節、13章13節、15章2節、7節、28節；雅各書3章3-12節
RESTRAIN YOUR LIPS – YOU MIGHT BE REWARDED
By Rick Boxx
There is an old American saying, “Loose lips sink ships.” A British equivalent, “Careless talk costs lives,” carried the same meaning – to beware of unguarded talk. These slogans during World War II were used to warn against discussing ship movements or unintentionally leaking vital information to spies. No sense letting the enemy know your plans.
In the business and professional world, we do not typically regard ourselves as engaging in “war,” but the principle still applies: Careless, poorly considered words can be very damaging. “Loose lips” can ruin friendships, destroy customer relationships, and transform near-success into failure.
Take Don, for example. He had formed a partnership with a close friend. Unfortunately, these two men had a serious dispute, and Don left the business angry, hurt, and suffered a substantial financial loss through no fault of his own.
He considered suing his former partner, and wrestled with the temptation to disparage him when the right occasion presented itself. After all, Don had been wronged and he felt justice should be served. However, after much prayer – and the counsel of trusted friends – rather than seeking his own revenge, Don chose to honor God. He maintained contact with the former partner and demonstrated to him, in both word and deed, the unconditional love of Jesus Christ every time an opportunity arose.
Don also chose to restrain himself from speaking poorly about his one-time business associate to others. About a year later, God restored the friendship, along with the partnership. Because he had refrained from speaking negatively about his partner, there was no need for damage control, no unnecessary wounds to heal.
This is why Bible passages like Proverbs 10:19 are so powerful and useful. It teaches, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” One way of applying this admonition is that if someone has hurt us, it would be good to take a long-term view and restrain our lips. We never know what the future brings. Here are some other Scripture passages to consider:
The tongue, tough to tame. Just as a small bit controls a horse, or a rudder guides a large ship, how we use our tongue affects the course of our lives. “…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body…” (James 3:5-6).
An instrument for either good or evil. Whether in a business meeting, a private conversation, or at a podium before many people, the tongue can serve as a tool for healing or a weapon for destruction. “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse” (10:32). “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).
Our use of words can be to our benefit, or for our harm. If cautious about what we say and how we say it, a day can go smoothly. If we speak unwisely and impulsively, a good day can quickly be ruined. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3).
Copyright 2017, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His new book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God”s Way.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Loose lips sink ships,” “Careless talk costs lives,” or something similar? What does it mean to you? What do you think of the example of Don, who overcame the temptation to demean his former partner, even though he could have justified what he was saying because of the wrongs he had suffered? How difficult is it to avoid lashing out toward others when we feel they have caused us harm or we have been treated unfairly? In the example of Don and his partner, the friendship and business relationship eventually were restored. What if we suffer unjustly, but do not experience such a “happy ending” – does this mean our determination not to strike back in vengeance, not to speak ill of the offending person(s), was ill-advised? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 4:24, 10:20-21, 11:12, 12:13-14, 13:13, 15:2,7,28; James 3:3-12