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Some are seemingly fond of saying (boasting), "I speak whatever is on my mind." If there is anything admirable in that character trait, it fails to be seen. A wise person knows, or at least makes an effort to determine, when it is advisable to keep the mouth closed.

One of the most incredibly brilliant minds of all time belonged to Solomon. God had given to this great king wisdom which enabled him to realize that some thoughts are not worthy of being spoken. Solomon thought it anything but virtuous to always "speak your mind." He wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit; "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles. Proud and haughty scorner is his name who dealeth in proud wrath" (Proverbs 21:23-24).

Would it not be a mark of wisdom to put the mind and heart into gear before putting the mouth into motion? Before we speak, let us first ask ourselves:
(1) Is this an unjust criticism? Designed to hurt, rather than edify? (Those quickest to criticize the way things are done are usually doing nothing themselves to help in getting things done);
(2) Is this gossip? Am I speaking to the correct person?
(3) Is this harsh? (Do I sometimes confuse frankness with just plain old crudeness and lack of refinement?)
(4) Is this negative in nature? (Will it tend to create an atmosphere of pessimism among those who hear what I say?);
(5) Is this true? (Do I know it is true?); and,
(6) Is this statement the product of pure motives? (Does it really need to be said at all?)

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