Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
Proverbs 21:23 NLT
I cannot count the number of times I have asked myself that question, "Did I just say that?" The tongue, in scripture, is described as a powerful thing that can cause a whole fire and consume everything around it (See James 3:6). It is no wonder God gives us this instruction because He knows the amount of trouble the tongue can cause.
Our verse today is a call to self-reflection. What are you saying? Is it Godly? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Will it make things better or worse? We need to be constantly mindful of everything we say which is why we are advised to remain quiet so as to stay out of trouble. God is not asking us to never say anything. He is rather showing us that there is more benefit to being silent than speaking. He is alluding to the truth that you are more likely to get in trouble when you talk more.
I would also like to draw our attention to Luke 6:45 which says, "...out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." This means that for you to fix any issues you may have with your tongue, you will need to start at the heart. What is your heart full of today? If you don't know the answer to this, ask yourself what am I always saying? Am I always negative? Do I speak words that encourage? Do I tend to break my relationships?
What you speak is evidence of what you are full of. If you are always arguing and fighting other people, maybe your heart is full of brokenness and hurt. There is always more to what we see. It may be a hard and long process to rewire yourself to a God-kind of mind but it will be well worth it. The best part is, you never have to do it alone. Ask God for His guidance today. Confess to Him where you have misspoken, receive His forgiveness and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Learn to take pauses when you are speaking to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. For instance, if someone has angered you, pause first and take some breaths in between while you listen to the Holy Spirit. He will bring to remembrance what you have read in God's Word (See John 14:26). This is why you need to be reading and meditating on God's Word daily. You will never lack a thing you need!