think before you speak“Liar, Liar, pants on fire - your nose is longer than a telephone wire”  Castaways - 1965

“Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.  Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down."  (Proverbs 26:17, 20)

Likely, few of you have committed these verses to memory or recall this quotation credited to Washington socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth, “If you haven’t anything nice to say about
anybody, come sit by me”.  Sad but true, the tongue, too often, becomes an overworked and harmful muscle.  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  (Ephesians 4:29)

One is of the many valuable lessons my parents taught me was to keep unpleasant family matters private.  Shouldn’t this principle apply to the church family as well.  The number one attribute I expect from a friend is loyalty.  I know quite well those who have remained with me in the “good, bad and the ugly”.  Nothing less should be expected from me.  We are admonished in James chapter 1 to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Ah, Proverbs 17:28 grabs my ears by this reminder, “even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

Danny Byrum