Dr. John E. Johnson

Dr. John E. Johnson

Monday Morning Proverb

“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things”  15:28

For almost a year, I have submitted myself to the last phase of writing a book–editing. I have been assigned a core of editors who have been checking my spelling, my punctuation, my word choices, my tenses, my thoughts, my form, my sources…I could go on. It is meant to be an exacting process. Use loc. number rather than page number when you refer to Kindle; be consistent with the translation you choose; make sure that quote from the movie is precise.

When Liam Neeson is being chased by wolves, in the movie The Grey, he screams to God at one point, pleading for divine help. But sensing there is no response, he tells God: “Fine, I will do it myself!” My editor corrected me, He actually said, “F—k it, I will do it myself.” I promptly corrected this account in my book. It would be unfortunate to misrepresent Neeson’s words.

The sage also encourages us to be about editing our speech. What separates a wise man from a fool is the way he/she measures words. The wise ponders, reflects, edits (yehgeh) one’s language before addressing the question. One exercises precise care. This is part of self-control. It is what keeps a person from shooting oneself in the foot.

The fool is just the opposite. She blurts out, speaking before she thinks. He tweets before considering the potential costs (I know, it is hard to come up with an immediate example). Fools are known for their tendency to vent, spout off. They are the loose cannons who cause collateral damage. Those with a “diarrhea of the mouth” need help–fast.

Verse 2 reinforces verse 28–“The mouth of the fool gushes folly.” In other words, they do no editing. Their language pours out, full of errors, with no governor. Listeners (like readers) eventually stop listening.

The advice here–make sure the “Review–Track Changes” tab is on before you speak.

-I always appreciate your responses

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