By: Elle Buell

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Proverbs 17:28 NLT

My mom spent most of my childhood quoting this scripture to me, but I didn’t really begin to understand it until my adulthood. The purpose of this scripture isn’t God saying we shouldn’t talk-- the purpose is that we should control our tongue and how we speak. 
I’m one of those people that lies in bed at night, replaying every moment of the last 20 years of my life that I wish I had said or done something different. Through many excruciating mental replays of my most regretful failures, I have learned this: I have never regretted WITHHOLDING an unkind word.  
Today I would challenge you with this: If you feel angry, take three long, deep breaths before saying anything to anyone. If you feel sad today, count to 30 before opening your mouth to someone else. If you feel frustrated today, take a moment to ask God for wisdom before addressing any issues. The challenge here is to KEEP SILENT FIRST, pray, and then respond.