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Quotes on the Tongue
While preparing for Vol. 44 on the power of the tongue, I came across many quotes on the subject. I found it very interesting to take note of the large variety of people and nations and cultures represented by these quotes. If the importance of guarding one's tongue is generally accepted among the unsaved, how much more important is it for us believers to be a good example in this area? As you ponder these sayings, ask God to help you say what He would have you say: nothing more, and nothing less!

(Please keep in mind that I in no way fully endorse all the authors of these quotes, or neccesarily agree with anything else they may have said. :-) As always, the sayings of men must be "taken with a grain of salt" and compared to the unfailing truth of God's Word!)

Lord, make my words as sweet as honey, for tomorrow I may have to eat them! --Anonymous; Submitted by Amanda O.

Help me guard my lips, O Saviour, Keep me sweet when sorely tried, Answers soft to others giving, Meekly swallowing my pride. --Basch; Submitted by Amanda O.

A kind word is never lost. It keeps going on and on, from one person to another, until at last it comes back to you again. --Anonymous

No man has a prosperity so high or firm, but that two or three words can dishearten it; and there is no calamity which right words will not begin to redress. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words are the coins making up the currency of sentences, and there are always too many small coins. -- Jules Renard

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. -- Henrik Ibsen

Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience. -- Julian Sorrell Huxley

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds, if you cannot comprehend them. -- Anatole France

It is with words as with sunbeams--the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. -- Robert Southey

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all." -- Lewis Carroll

Words without actions are the assassins of idealism. -- Herbert Hoover

We speak little if not egged on by vanity. -- François de La Rochefoucauld

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. -- Robert Frost

Better pointed bullets than pointed speeches. -- Otto von Bismarck

Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken you reign over it. -- Arabian Proverb

A still tongue makes a wise head. --Traditional Proverb

Falsehood often lurks upon the tongue of him, who, by self-praise, seeks to enhance his value in the eyes of others. --James Gordon Bennett

Fighting is essentially a masculine idea; a woman's weapon is her tongue. --Hermione Gingold

Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. --Turkish Proverb

He who knows little knows enough if he knows how to hold his tongue. --Italian Proverb

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity. --Marcus Tullius Cicero (106BC - 3BC) Roman statesman, scholar, orator

If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends -- you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue. --Alice Duer Miller

If thy words be too luxuriant, confine them, lest they confine thee. He that thinks he can never speak enough, may easily speak too much. A full tongue and an empty brain are seldom parted. --Francis Quarles (1592 - 1644) English poet

In nine times out of ten, the slanderous tongue belongs to a disappointed person. --George Bancroft (1800 - 1891) US historian, author

Keep the tongue in your mouth a prisoner. --Turkish Proverb

Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf. --American Proverb

Many a man's tongue broke his nose. --Seamus MacManus (1564 - 1616) English dramatist, poet

Silence is the best answer to the stupid. The fool has his answer on the tip of his tongue. --Saudi Arabian Proverb

Teach thy tongue to say "I do not know," and thou shalt progress. --Maimonides (1135 - 1204) Jewish philosopher

Teach your child to hold his tongue; he'll learn fast enough to speak. --Benjamin Franklin

When the heart is full the tongue will speak. --Scottish Proverb

Your tongue is like a horse -- if you take care of it, it takes care of you; if you treat it badly, it treats you badly. --Saudi Arabian Proverb

A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. --Robert Burton (1577 - 1640) English scholar, writer, clergyman

A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever. --Jessamyn West (1902 - 1984) US author

A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

A kind word can attract even the snake from his nest. --Saudi Arabian Proverb

A man who lives right, and is right, has more power in his silence than another has by his words. --Phillips Brooks

A spoken word is not a sparrow. Once it flies out, you can't catch it. --Russian Proverb

A wise man hears one word and understands two. --Yiddish Proverb

A wise person speaks carefully and with truth, for every word that passes between one's teeth is meant for something. --Molefi Kete Asante

A word carries far -- very far -- deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space. --Joseph Conrad

A word from the mouth is like a stone from a sling. --Spanish Proverb

A word is dead when it is said, some say./ I say it just begins to live that day. --Emily Dickinson

A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string. --George D. Prentice (1802 - 1870) US newspaperman, editor, poet

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society. --John Adams (1767 - 1848) US president (2nd)

All books are either dreams or swords,/ You can cut, or you can drug, with words. --Amy Lowell (1874 - 1925) US poet

All change, all production and generation are effected through the word. --Leopold Senghor

Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken. --Orson Scott Card

As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence. --Benjamin Franklin

Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment. --Iara Gassen

Beneath the rule of men entirely great,/ The pen is mightier than the sword. --Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803 - 1873) English statesman, poet

Big words seldom accompany good deeds. --Danish Proverb

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of that fact. --George Eliot

Candor is always a double-edged sword; it may heal or it may separate. --Wilhelm Stekel

Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know. --Andre Maurois

Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few. --Pythagoras (582BC - 507BC) Greek mathemetician, pilosopher

Dress not thy thoughts in too fine a raiment. And be not a man of superfluous words or superfluous deeds. --Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180) Roman ruler, philosopher, author

Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within hearsay of little children tends toward the formation of character. --Hosea Ballou (1771 - 1852) US clergyman

Four things come not back. The spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, ad the neglected opportunity. --Saudi Arabian Proverb

Good manners and soft words have brought many a difficult thing to pass. --John Vanbrugh (1664 - 1726) English dramatist, architect

Here comes the orator with his flood of words and his drop of reason. --Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) US statesman, diplomat, inventor, printer

I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results. --Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910) English nurse, reformer

If a word be worth one shekel, silence is worth two. --Hebrew Proverb

If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams -- the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. --Robert Southey (1774 - 1843) English author

If your strength is small, don't carry heavy burdens. If your words are worthless, don't give advice. --Chinese Proverb

In conversation the game is, to say something new with old words. And you shall observe a man of the people picking his way along, step by step, using every time an old boulder, yet never setting his foot on an old place. --Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) US philosopher, poet, essayist

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words with out a heart. --John Bunyan (1628 - 1688) English clergyman, author

It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete. --Norman Cousins

It takes so little to make people happy. Just a touch, If we know how to give it, just a word fitly spoken, a slight readjustment of some bolt or pin or bearing in the delicate machinery of a soul. --Frank Crane

Kind words will unlock an iron door. --Kurdish Proverb

Little said is soon amended. There is always time to add a word, never to withdraw one. --Baltasar Gracian (1601 - 1658) Spanish philosopher, writer

Men of few words are the best men. --William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English dramatist, poet

On a single winged word hath hung the destiny of nations. --Wendell Phillips (1811 - 1884) US abolitionist

Our words have wings, but fly not where we would. --George Eliot (1819 - 1880) English novelist

Provoking, isn't it? that when one is most in need of sensible words, one finds them not. --Charlotte Forten Grimke (1837 - 1914) US educator, diarist

Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all. --Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) English statesman, author

Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few. --Pythagoras (582BC - 507BC) Greek mathemetician, pilosopher

Speak softly. It is far better to rule by love than fear./ Speak softly. Let no harsh words mar the good we may do here. --Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748) English minister

Talking much is a sign of vanity, for the one who is lavish with words is cheap in deeds. --Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 - 1618) English navigator, historian, courtier

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. --Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 - 1896) US author

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter -- 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. --Mark Twain

The fewer the words, the better the prayer. --Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) German religious reformer

The more you say, the less people remember, the fewer the words, the deeper the impression. --Francois de Salignac Fenelon (1651 - 1715) French theologian, author

The most ordinary word, when put into place, suddenly acquires brilliance. That is the brilliance with which your images must shine. --Robert Bresson, French film director

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. --James Jeans (1877 - 1946) English Mathematician, astronomer

The word "no" carries a lot more meaning when spoken by a parent who also knows how to say yes. --Joyce Maynard (1876 - 1958) US historian, writer

The wound of words is worse than the wound of swords. --Saudi Arabian Proverb

There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together. --Josh Billings (1818 - 1885) US writer

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. --Leo Buscaglia (1925 - 1998) US author, educator

Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination. --Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951) Austrian-English philosopher

We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, and we are then master of the situation. --Florence Scovel Shinn

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. --Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818) US first lady, Letter to John Adams, 1774

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away. --Arthur Helps (1813 - 1875) English historian, novelist, essayist

Words are as beautiful as wild horses, and sometimes as difficult to corral. --Ted Berkman (1803 - 1882) US philosopher, poet, essayist

Words are less needful to sorrow than to joy. --Helen Hunt Jackson

Words are like eggs: when they are hatched they have wings. --Malagasy Proverb

Words are like spears: Once they leave your lips they can never come back. --Beninese Proverb

Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad. --Manly Hall (1901 - 1990) Canadian philosopher, author

Words are weapons, and it is dangerous . . . to borrow them from the arsenal of the enemy. --George Santayana

Words have no wings but they can fly many thousands of miles. --Korean Proverb

Words in mouth, no load upon head. --Jamaican Proverb

Among walnuts only the empty one speaks. --Moroccan Proverb

Everyone is wise until he speaks. --Irish Proverb

From listening comes wisdom, and from speaking repentance. --Italian Proverb

How rare it is to find a soul quiet enough to hear God speak. --Francois de Salignac Fenelon (1651 - 1715) French theologian, author

If you would have people speak well of you, then do not speak well of yourself. --Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662) French mathematician, physicist, theologian

One may teach another to speak, but none can teach another to hold his peace. --Polish Proverb

Repentance for silence is better than repentance for speaking. --Spanish Proverb

Speak not against anyone whose burden you have not weighed yourself. --Marion Zimmer Bradley

Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you. --Spanish proverb

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues. --Bertrand Russell

~Compiled by Abigail Paul for HW Vol. 44

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