A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return (Jewish proverb)

We need to be reminded of this truth periodically. It’s so easy to let our words fly freely either before we think or without thinking at all. The more free-speaking we are, the more the danger of a slip of the tongue. We often hurt people when we’re just trying to be funny, and maybe that’s the worst kind of hurt. Guard your tongue; set a guard on your lips. Speak gently.

Gentle words are a tree of life . . . Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. (Proverbs 15:4; 21:23)