1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.
2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
4 The LORD works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart,.Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.
7 When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth does not betray justice.
11 Honest scales and balances belong to the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
12 Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.
13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease it.
15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
21 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.
22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.
23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.
24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
26 The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.
27 A scoundrel plots evil, and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
29 A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.
30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
Do you sometimes wish you could hit a reset button and start over?
If you are like me you probably have situations arise throughout your day that leave you scratching your head thinking “Why did I react that way?” or “I wish I hadn’t said that!” It is in these moments that I wish I had a button I could press and go back to the beginning of the situation and start fresh. A reset button.
Imagine for a moment that you are in the break room at work and your co-workers are engaged in a conversation that is ‘slightly’ off color and inappropriate for the professional office environment. The jokes are amusing, the stories are captivating and everyone is taking their turn adding to the conversation when the comments become directed at another coworker who isn’t in the room at the time. You are faced with an option. Do you join the conversation and add to the mix your own inappropriate comment or do you excuse yourself and leave the break room to avoid the conversation?
Well, I am embarrassed to say that I was faced with this situation a couple of years ago and chose to jump right in on the conversation, adding comments about my co-worker that were mean, rude and highly offensive. Everyone in the room was laughing which encouraged me to continue my insensitive comedy routine. I was dominating the conversation as if I was performing stand-up comedy at a night club. This went on for a few minute and then the laughter stopped. My break room audience’s faces were plastered with looks of shame. Unbeknown to me the person that was the object of my jokes had walked up behind me and heard a great deal of what I was saying. It was right then that I wished I had a reset button that I could press and go back to the beginning and make a different decision. But no such reset button exists.
My coworker’s feelings were hurt and she left the room in tears. I tried to apologize but the damage was already done. No amount of apologizing could help the situation or improve the relationship I had with this coworker from that point on. In fact, in one 10-minute conversation I tarnished my reputation with everyone that was in the break room that day plus all the other people in the workplace that heard about my rude, insensitive comments. I am sure to this day that some of those people still view me as a jerk.
When carpenters are about to cut a piece of wood they often measure twice before making the cut. This prevents them from making unnecessary cuts that would make the wood useless, increase the cost by wasting material and delay the project by forcing them to perform the task twice. Slowing down and making sure their measurements are correct helps keep them on track. While at the time it might seem slower it saves time in the long run.
In Proverbs 16:23-24 (NKJV) says – 23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
Since that incident in the break room, I have tried do a better job of thinking things through before I open my mouth. Much like a carpenter, I try to avoid making unnecessary cuts that do irreparable harm. After all the tongue is like a two-edged sword that can damage people emotionally which often is worse than any physical pain that can be inflicted.
I allow my heart to control my tongue, My goal is to build people up rather than tear them down with my words. While I am not perfect at avoiding all inappropriate conversations or comments, I am much better at stopping myself before I say or do something that I cannot take back. I guess that is the next best thing to a reset button.
What about you? Have you been faced with a situation where you wish you had a reset button to start over?
Terry R. Ward – Follow on Twitter @TerryRWard
Social Media: about.me/TerryWard
I am a father myself to six remarkable kids, their ages range from 18 years of age on down to 3 years. I have five energetic boys and one beautiful daughter. I am married to Quinn, an amazing woman who loves and supports me no matter what. Although this is my second marriage and her first, she has embraced the role of step-mom to my five oldest kids with an open mind and open arms. Where most women would be terrified, she has embraced the sudden role of dealing with teenagers and the challenges that brings to our lives. Like I said, she is an amazing woman.
I have spent the majority of my adult life working in the media. I spent 20+ years working in traditional media, primarily in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor, circulation manager, advertising director, sales & marketing director, general manager and publisher. Currently I am a newspaper publisher Group Publisher for GateHouse Media where I oversee 19 publications in Louisiana.