I found a copy of Spurgeon’s John Ploughman’s Talks on my shelf. A book I haven’t looked at in years. I cracked it open and read:
An open mouth shows an empty head. If the chest had gold or silver in it, it would not always stand wide open. Talking comes by nature, but it needs a good deal of training to learn to be quiet; yet regard for truth should put a bit into every honest man’s mouth and a bridle upon every good woman’s tongue. . .
The world for the most past believe that where there is smoke there is fire, and what everybody says must be true. Let us then be careful that we do not hurt our neighbor in so tender a point as his character, for it is hard to get dirt off if it is once thrown on; and when a man is once in people’s bad books, he is hardly ever quite out of them. If we would be sure not to speak amiss, it might be as well to speak as little as possible; for if all men’s sins were divided into two bundles, half of them would be sins of the tongue. . .
If you do not cut a bit off your tongues, at least season them with the salt of grace. Praise God more, and blame neighbors less (John Ploughman’s Talks, 48-50).
How in need are we to not only bridle our tongues, but may the Spirit of God so rest upon us that tongues of fire would burn out the dross that infects our lips. May God purge the insatiable desire to criticize and lash others with rudder of our souls. May God grant Christians, those redeemed by the abused One–who did not revile in return; may God grant us the humility to be slow to opine and quick repine upon his grace. For we know that if others would recount our iniquities none could stand