3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
Have you ever said something you regret? Where did it come from? Your words are a window into your heart. There are many today who believe their hearts are pure, and the problem with the world is the evil outside of them. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a survivor of the Russian gulags, famously reflected on this assumption: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
The wise person is honest with himself, he recognizes the evil in his own heart. Instead of letting it out in his speech, he guards his lips and uses his words to oppose it. He fights his anger with forgiveness, regret with confession, envy with praise, and greed with generosity. The fool who speaks rashly does no such thing. He is too proud to admit his flaws, but that does not stop them from coming out in his speech. He does nothing to deal with the evil in his heart, and eventually it enslaves him.
“A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” The sluggard lays in his bed thinking about all of the things that would satisfy him. But instead of seeking opportunities, he only sees obstacles. He would rather go without than try and fail, his excuses are magnified by his fears. The diligent, however, know that goals are achieved one step at a time. They focus on what’s next, and are not discouraged by what must be done after that. They are patient with obstacles, seeing them as challenges to overcome. They prioritize their time and make the most of it, knowing that the path of satisfaction is less difficult than the sluggard believes.