Control of the tongue is a serious subject in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Proverbs is one of the key books to teach on the subject. It’s repeated throughout the book in order to emphasize the importance of it. Chapter 18 contains a clear warning about neglect of tongue control. Verses 6 and 7 say, “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”

Every culture and the wisdom over every society has given attention to the control of the tongue. It’s a central theme in all wisdom. Someone wrote a poem about that. Here it is.

The boneless tongue, so small and weak
Can crush and kill,” declared the Greek.
The Persian proverb wisely saith:
A lengthy tongue, an early death.
Sometimes it takes this form instead:
Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.
While Arab sages this impart:
The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.
From Hebrew wit the maxim’s sprung:
Though feet should slip, don’t let the tongue.
A verse in Scripture crowns the whole:
Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.

“He that guardeth his mouth keepeth his soul; destruction shall be to him that openeth wide his lips.” Proverbs 13:3