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 “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23(NIV)

 Ever heard of the saying,'' loose mouth sinks ship?''
 I learnt it is a military term used to remind the navy that enemies could be around the ship and letting out vital information can give the enemy an upper hand against them.

According to Richard, enemy spies used to hang around the British pubs to hear loose talk about ship movements during World War 1. While Sailors talked about their next assignments, where they were going, when they were leaving, and what they planned on doing, the enemy got vital information with which they effectively launched an attack.

Have you ever wished you didn‘t let out information about you or about someone else?  I have felt so. I know what it is to have that inner nudge telling you that you have spoken more than necessary.

 A loose mouth is a natural tendency for outgoing people and those who are naturally open to others. However, like most natural things, a loose mouth needs to be ―brushed into becoming a bridled mouth.

 Loose lips can sink more than a huge navy ship. It sinks relationships, friendships, destinyships and futureships.

 These are ways people demonstrate the loose (unrestrained) tongue virus.

1. The Fire-arm mouth

We demonstrate this kind when words begin to come out of our mouths faster than bullets come from a gun. It becomes an actual fire arm when what we are saying is born from anger, bitterness or revenge.

2.The demeaning mouth

 Can you recall a hurtful, cutting remark someone said to you recently? How did you feel? You know it is easier to remember that which was said to us than to remember that which we said to someone else. (Feel me here?)

Recently, I met a student crying. I‘m a happy high school instructor, by the way. She was being hated on by her classmates because of her loose mouth. She was reporting to me and I felt really sorry for her. I knew I had to kindly show her the problem with her mouth and how to successfully relate with her colleagues.

 While she was still speaking, a senior student cut in. She said, ''Excuse me, Miss Princess, This girl is a mess!'

 Boy!   My heart sank 10 times into my stomach. Where did this other girl come from? Here I was talking with a girl who knows nothing about how her mouth was damaging others and her in turn; and this other girl uses her mouth to send a viral shoot of self esteem poison into the soul of the crying girl.

 I rebuked the senior student and took the crying girl out of the scene. I counseled her and she left my office restored, whole and happy (my actual reward for being a high school instructor).
By the way, I called her a week later and asked how things were with her colleagues and she said, ''Miss Princess, it‘s a lot better.'' '' No one ever sat me down to talk to me about myself and life like you did. I love you Miss Princess!''

 Need I say I felt fulfilled that day?

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)


3. The Unproductive mouth

 Recently, I got a text message with the sender ID- Amebo (a Nigerian slang for a gossip). It read, ''For gossip and latest gist text blah blah to blah blah.''

 I felt terrible. So now I have to subscribe for gossip?  As children we were taught that God hated gossip and that gossip destroys the society.
Today, it is okay to use the word gossip. Do you spread unsolicited or solicited information about people?  Well, you are a gossip at that point, especially when it‘s something that could damage the other person‘s reputation.

Gossip often starts with a heading like, ''did you hear?''
 Then comes the inside scoop, family secret, personal story and someone else‘s skeleton in the cupboard. Have you seen how a gossip separates friends? Breaches trust that took years of friendship to build? Gossip simply destroys and is definitely unproductive/ unprofitable.

Apostle Paul encourages us, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law (happenings, other people’s lives, politics, football and what have you?); for they are unprofitable (unproductive) and vain.” Titus 3:9 (KJV) Emphasis added

So many people have lost their lives in a fight over arguments about politics, football and celebrities.  Is that a worthy cause to die for? Is that an honorable way to die?

4. The annoying mouth

 This variation provokes people. A sarcastic statement, a derogatory remark, any word that provokes anger in others is annoying. Sometimes, parents or an adult does this with the way they speak to those under their care. The bible encourages parents not to provoke their children. “And, ye fathers (grown-ups, leaders), provoke not your children to wrath (by the way you treat or speak to them): but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) Emphasis added


5. The perverse mouth

 “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” Proverbs 4:24 (KJV) That scripture says, we should not permit our mouths to be unruly (froward) nor speak contrary to acceptable standard (perverse). If you are a Christian, you know that our acceptable standard is not defined by the media but by God‘s word. Whenever your lips speak what God has not written in his word concerning your life, you are operating a perverse mouth at that point. God wants our confession to deliberately align with his word. Sometimes, life gets really unbearable and we just scream at everything around and declare words like,
I‘m dead!
Nothing is working out
My life is a mess and all those things that are contrary to his perfect plan for us.

Do not ruin your future with a perverse mouth.


6. The know-it-all mouth

 My aunt once told me a story about two married women. We are going to call them Felicia and Tope (not real names).
Felicia was married to a very wealthy man. Everyone in town knew they had several businesses and that they went abroad frequently.
Tope on the other hand was married to a man who wasn‘t doing badly; but he wasn‘t as wealthy as Felicia‘s husband.

One day Felicia was driving off to the market when she saw Tope. She decided to drop her at her destination which happened to be along the market route. While they drove, Felicia innocently told Tope that she was on her way to the market. She added that the cost of things had gone up but her husband is yet to increase the amount of money he gives her for feeding. Tope who had been envious of Felicia‘s marriage and her wealthy husband, said,  ''What! My husband cannot try that. How much does your husband give you?'' She asked Felicia.

''NGN85, 000'', replied Felicia.

 Tope frowned as though she was disappointed.

She gave Felicia the impression that her husband wasn‘t doing well.

''My husband gives me NGN100, 000 monthly,'' Said Tope.  ''And if it is not enough, I come home and makes sure he balances it up.'' She added. ''Why should a woman suffer in her husband‘s house? We cook, raise children care for our men and go to the market; only to endure insults from traders. What is the man working for then?''She concluded.

Felicia thought about how wealthy her husband was and without reasoning, she decided to confront him.  She dropped Tope off and headed for the market. By the time her husband returned, she didn‘t let him unwind. She began to nag.

''Look at Tope that her husband is not as rich as we are. Yet he gives her NGN100, 000 for feeding. While I suffer every day, negotiating at the market.''

 Bolu (Felicia‘s husband, not real name) was amazed. He tried to explain to his wife that she had to make do with that at the moment and that he thought it was enough.  What started out as calm argument escalated into a huge fight as Felicia was determined to get some more money from her husband.

Did you know she later discovered that Tope‘s husband works in a cement factory where he earns NGN50, 000. He gives Tope NGN5000 monthly for feeding.

Ade (Tope‘s husband, not real name) had approached Bolu for a job. Bolu perplexed at Ade‘s request decided to investigate the matter. It was then the truth came to light.

 I know you think Felicia was stupid right? Well, she isn‘t our focus in this book. Tope is.

Like Tope, many people give an ―I-know-it-all counsel to others which ends up destroying them.

 Have you been given such counsel before? What did you do about it? The problem with the madam-I-know-it-all kind of counsel is that it rarely comes from a well meaning heart.

This kind of loose mouth causes more harm than good. Such people give advice over matters they have no clue about.


 Do you remember Job‘s friends in the bible? In Chapter 4, Eliphaz criticized job. Eliphaz hadn‘t been through anything like Job was going through. I guess if he had, he might have spoken with some consideration- encourage Job rather than criticize him.  Eliphaz‘s know-it-all mouth hurt job so hard that he cried out, “Then Job answered and said, how long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?" Job 19:1-2 (KJV)

Just as Tope‘s words pushed Felicia to confront her husband, the words of Eliphaz and other friends of Job pushed him to say that God was being unjust. Their words didn‘t edify but wounded job‘s spirit. Do you have a know-it-all mouth?

Culled from the book 7 SIGNS YOU ARE SABOTAGING YOUR FUTURE..available as a free gift on our website. Sign up for yours.

Committed to your Fulfilment
Anne Atulaegwu


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