He could almost be cute if it were not for that tongue! The anteater is also called the ant bear. His Greek name means “three fingers” referring to his claws. His long bushy tail and elongated muzzle give him such an odd appearance. Even so, he can be fierce which is why perhaps he is UCI’s mascot. That sticky saliva-covered tongue can stretch up to two feet. He can flick his tongue 160 times a minute. He would need to be rapid to eat his required 35,000 insects a day!
Today’s verse points out that stopping sin is not done by increasing our words. In fact, the more we try to dig ourselves out of a hole by talking, the deeper we sink in! We tend to excuse, rationalize and shift blame with our words. We try to minimize the importance of our wrong doing and end up bringing more attention to it! This reminds me of the famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much.” Nothing is resolved by trying to talk our way out of the situation. The prudent one will hold his tongue and not make things worse.
I have a hard time holding my tongue. It seems to have a life of its own. The words in my head can sound so reasonable and even necessary to say. But once uttered aloud, they can transform what was something minor into something major. And once said, they cannot be called back. How many times I have regretted that impulse to speak when silence was the better way! I need the Lord to give me the self-control He has promised (Gal. 5:23) and His wisdom to know when to keep quiet!
Help me Lord to be prudent today!