Remember, when you let dangerous words fly, you cannot take them back.

Proverbs 17:14

There’s that moment when you feel your temperature rising and you sense an argument is about to ensue. The next words out of your mouth are the most crucial; they’ll either fuel the conflict or help settle the matter. Proverbs 17.14 says if they fuel the conflict, it’s like the breaching of a dam—it starts with a small crack, but ends up unleashing the entire river.

A broken dam has devastating effects on a community: a reservoir is drained, dangerous flooding occurs, and years of labor building the dam are gone in an instant. This is true for relationships as well.

When we enter into a quarrel, be it with family, friends, co-workers, or even some guy who cuts you off on your way to work, we risk dangerous consequences that sometimes wreak irreparable damage. Worst of all, when we let dangerous words go, we can never get them back.

The wisdom from Proverbs is this: “. . .drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17.14b). Simply put, drop it and walk away.

Today, recall a time you let words fly you couldn’t get back and the damage you caused. Use this as a learning environment the next time you feel your temperature rising as you drop it and walk away.

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