Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28
What is Solomon telling us here? What message is he trying to give us? The message is very simply this: your words will affect how people perceive you just as much as your actions. What Solomon is talking about here is taming your tongue. And to really understand what Solomon is telling us here we need to like at James 3:3-11.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been mad in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:3-11)
James here is telling us the same thing the Solomon that told us over in Proverbs, just not as poetically. James is telling us to keep a close guard on the words that come out of our mouths. And why is this the case? The same mouth that forms words of praise to God, is also the same mouth that forms words of cursing. In others words the same mouth that forms words of life for one person, is also the same mouth that forms words of death for another person. But remember yours words may not actually physically kill another person, but they can and they will affect their spiritual life. For as follower of God your words hold the power of giving spiritual life. And so your words need to be used to give spiritual life and not spiritual death.
The hand of Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'” So prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, the they may live.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army. Ezekiel 37:1-10