What we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. It is not surprising, then, to find that Proverbs gives special attention to the words and how they are used. Four common speech patterns are described in Proverbs.
- The Controlled Tongue: Those with this speech pattern think before speaking, know when silence is best, and give wise advice.
- The Caring Tongue: Those with this speech pattern speak truthfully while seeking to encourage.
- The Conniving Tongue: Those with this speech pattern are filled with wrong motives, gossip, slander and a desire to twist truth.
- The Careless Tongue: Those with this speech pattern are filled with lies, curses, quick-tempered words - which can lead to rebellion and destruction.
The first two should be copied, while the last two should be avoided. (Life Application Study Bible)
We all know people who irritate us. The do and say things that cause a reaction within us equivalent to nails down a blackboard. Talking about every little irritation only keeps the fires of anger going. Refusing to discuss them cuts the fuel line and makes the fires die out. Does someone continually irritate you? Decide not to complain about the person, and see if your irritation dies from lack of fuel.
We cannot force others to see the sin in their lives. Some just refuse to accept that they are wrong and that their way of life does not honor God. Their obsession with popularity and rubbing elbows with those placed on pedestals is may affect how God sees them, but it doesn't affect how God sees you! He knows that you have walked away from what is not pleasing to Him; He knows you have tried to show others that what they do is not glorifying to Him. The expression "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" applies here.
Lift them up in prayer, limit the interaction you have with them but do not give in to the desire to discuss their irritating lifestyle with others. It serves no purpose. I'd like to say that I am above that, but I am not - I, too, am human and often find the need to have my thoughts on the lifestyles of others validated. It's not something I'm proud of, and it's something I'm working on. Only through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit can we ever hope to relinquish the conniving tongue or the careless tongue.