‘Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.’ (Proverbs 27.1-3)
Three more proverbs. Each is connected with thoughts about things said. “Tomorrow I shall…” is something we might not call a ‘boast’, but we do need to be conscious that tomorrow is not in our gift; we make plans in faith! As for praising ourselves, that we label as boasting; maybe the English have historically been too self-effacing, but this proverb from another culture supports the idea that we should leave it to others to speak praise of us. But if praise lifts hearts, things said to wound or annoy and unsympathetic criticism can drag us down. These sayings are all echoed in things Jesus said while teaching about the Father whose love can support us when we’re under attack, reassures us that we should be self-confident, and gives us grounds for faith for whatever tomorrow holds.
(Psalm 51.15) O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.