Filtered Water, Filtered Words

“Don’t drink the water” is a piece of advice worth heeding when traveling abroad. We live part of the year in Mexico to be near our daughter and her family, and we follow the advice, drinking only bottled water. Our home’s water supply is trucked in and pumped into a holding tank. This water needs to be filtered for it to be drinkable, so we have a two-part filtration system under our kitchen sink.

Recently, when I was changing the filters, I reflected on how words need filtering like water does. We don’t have to say everything we think; we shouldn’t say everything we think! Not every thought is worthy of words. What we’re thinking may be irrelevant, off the subject, inappropriate, or hurtful. Even if what we’re thinking is true, it may be the wrong time for the truth to be told, or we may not be the right person to tell it. We may also have, at the moment, the wrong attitude, which makes the truth we want to tell almost impossible for the other person to take well.

God has given us the amazing ability to think before we speak, and He expects us to use that ability. We need to speak responsibly. In fact, someone who says, “I just say what’s on my mind,” or “I just tell it as it is,” needs to confess their sin, repent, and begin to guard their tongue!

Sometimes no words is the best course of action. An often quoted piece of wisdom goes like this, “Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

When we drink unfiltered water in a foreign country it often doesn’t turn out well. When we speak unfiltered words it also usually doesn’t turn out well!

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)


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