Proverbs 4:24 says Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. I looked up froward and perverse and they mean contrary, obstinate, cranky, stubborn, etc. We’ve all had a contrary and stubborn day here or there - God says to put this type of talking "away." In chapter 8 and verse 13 of this great book, God says He hates the froward mouth.Chapter 10, verse 19 says In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. When we are not wanting this means we have plenty. So this verse is saying many words = plenty of sin. Usually it is best to just let things go - not get into an argument with someone. Because if we refrain our lips (which is to hold back or curb our speaking) ~ God says we are wise.
The tongue is a powerful weapon ~ it is described in James 3 as a fire, a world of iniquity, an unruly evil. In Proverbs 12:18 God’s Word says There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. Have you ever said something to someone in anger and even you were surprised with the words that came from your mouth? I know I have. It is kind of like toothpaste ~ once out of the tube it can’t be put back in. People can accept our apology and forgive us but the damage that we have done with our tongue can take much time to get over. satan gets great joy from replaying the words again and again in the minds of the erred - hoping we will remain angry, become discouraged, and that the stream of bitterness will begin to flow through our veins. This is why God warns us to hold our tongue.
So how will we know when to speak and when not to speak? Well, chapter 10 and verse 32 says that the lips of the righteous know what is acceptable; but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness. We need to stay in God’s Word, stay "prayed up" and walk as close to God as we can . And while we may not always speak what is right we know what is right, don’t we. For as soon as that which is not righteous has exited our lips we know.I believe the most affective approach is found in Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grevious words stir up anger. I have been on the giving and receiving end of "a soft answer turneth away wrath." And I’ve also been on the giving and receiving end of "grevious words stir up anger." When we speak softly to someone’s anger, things calm down almost instantly ~ or if we are the angry one we will calm down (kind of like throwing a wet rag on a small fire). And, as well, if we speak grevious words to someone they can immediately get their ire up and fight back ~ or we can get our ire up very quickly when someone speaks in an unkind or ungodly way to us (like throwing gasoline on a fire).
It isn’t rocket science - just remember a soft answer, a soft spirit, a kind word is going to shut down someone’s anger almost immediately. I’ve seen it many times over the years.We know what is acceptable and unacceptable to speak. And we know what to do when someone speaks unkindly or angrily toward us ~ soft words..... It sure makes life a whole lot easier.