“speaks recklessly.” There are many verses in the Bible that talk about how important it is to control what we say. There are many ways to speak recklessly: we can say the wrong thing, or say the right thing but at the wrong time or place. A person does not have to have the intention to hurt people with their words in order to deeply wound someone. It takes diligent effort to control one’s mouth, and also a humble attitude about life. It is basically impossible for a self-centered person to control his mouth, because he frames all of life in terms of himself and how he feels.
In contrast to speaking recklessly, the tongue of the wise is healing. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if we are really being wise because we can tend to see ourselves in a good light. A good way to check to see if we are being wise is to notice if the people around us are being blessed and healed by what we say; and they will usually tell us if they are. The tongue of the wise is healing, and if people around us cannot testify to blessings and healing when they are with us, then there is a good probability we are not being wise, no matter how good we feel about what we say. Of course sometimes wise words do hurt. But they don’t produce permanent harm. Reproof and godly rebuke hurt for a short time, but produce great gain and healing in the end.