Here are 20 sound advice from the Bible on when to keep your mouth shut to avoid creating unnecessary tension and conflict in your life. (This article is part of a series of advice on how to add more laughter and joy into your life. My point is that laughter and joy are already within us, so you can’t really add them into your life. It’s more a process of letting go of whatever is blocking them from free and natural expression.)

Choose to keep your mouth shut when…

When to keep your mouth shutIn the heat of anger. People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm. (TEV) Proverbs 14:17

If the issue is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10

If you can’t say it without screaming it. If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack. (TEV) Proverbs 25:28

If you have already said it more than one time – Proverbs 19:13

If you may have to eat your words later.

  • The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NIV) Proverbs 18:21
  • What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words. (TEV) Proverbs 18:21

If your words will damage a friendship. Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships. (TEV)   Proverbs 16:28

If you would be ashamed of your words later. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. (NIV) Proverbs 8:8

If your words will damage someone else’s reputation. Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil. (TEV) Proverbs 16:27

If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family.

  • It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. (TEV) 1 Peter 2:21-23
  • Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief. (The Message Bible) Proverbs 21:23

If your words will offend a weaker person – 1 Corinthians 8:11

If your words would convey the wrong impression. A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (NIV) Proverbs 17:27

When to keep your mouth shutWhen it is time to listen. A wise son pays attention when his father corrects him, but an arrogant person never admits he is wrong. (TEV) Proverbs 13:1

When you are feeling critical. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.   (NIV) James 3:9

When you are suppose to be working instead. In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty. (NKJ)   Proverbs 14:23

When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:24

When you are tempted to joke about sin. Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is good will. (NAS) Proverbs 14:9

When you are tempted to make light of holy things. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (NIV) Ecclesiastes 5:2

When you are tempted to tell an outright lie. Never say anything that isn’t true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. (TEV)   Proverbs 4:24

When you don’t have all the facts. Listen before you answer. If you don’t, you are being stupid and insulting. (TEV) Proverbs 18:13

When you haven’t verified the story. On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. (NIV) Deuteronomy 17:6

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When do you think is a good time to keep your mouth shut? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!