Loose lips sink ships is an American English idiom meaning “beware of unguarded talk”.
According to Wikipedia The gist of this particular slogan was that one should avoid speaking of ship movements, as this talk (if directed at or overheard by covert enemy agents) might allow the enemy to intercept and destroy the ships.
Some examples of usage of the phrase outside the World War II propaganda context are:
– “Loose Lips Sink Ships” is the title an episode of the American television program Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, and a variation
– “Loose Lips Sink Relationships”, is the title of an episode of the American television program Will & Grace.
– “Loose Lips” is the title of a song written by Kimya Dawson heard in the soundtrack of the feature film, Juno.
– “Loose lips sink ships” is the lyric at the beginning of the song Let’s Get It Up by AC/DC.
– “Loose Tweets Sink Fleets” is a contemporary phrase that reflects current methods of communication and inadvertent information dissemination over social media.
Over the years of ministry I too have learned how important it is that our talk is guarded. I have seen and experienced too often when people start talking, and at times can seem very irrelevant or harmless (not always the intention of those who are talking though) the damage it can cause. It can create a perception to some of a reality that is wrong. It is this reason that years ago I adopted these 10 rule of communication from a wise pastor friend of mine.
10 Rules of Communication
1. If you have a problem with staff, leadership, or me please see those involved privately.
2. If I have a problem with you, I will come to you privately.
3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send
them to me. I will do the same for you.
4. If someone will consistently not come to me, say, “Let’s go to
pastor Todd together. I am sure he will see us about this.”
5. If you say to the staff, the leadership, or me,
“People are talking,” we will ask who. I ask you to do the
6. If it is confidential don’t tell others. our leadership will
not tell other people unless:
1. The person will harm themselves or others
2. A child has been physically or sexually abused
7. I will not read or be swayed to read any unsigned letters or notes. If you send a signed note or letter don’t be surprised if I ask you to come and talk about it.
8. I will not manipulate people. I do not want to be manipulated by others.
9. Always feel free to ask any question you may have.
10. Be careful of misinterpretations. They often cause unnecessary
divisions. If you or I sense this is happening I will call for a meeting with all concerned people.
What ideas do you use to try to combat those loose lips in your ministry?
Here are just a few places in the Bible that also try to warn of the damage that is ever-present with loose lips.
Some people come to see me, but they lie. They just come to get bad news. Then they go and gossip.
Gossips can’t keep secrets, but a trustworthy person can.
A useless person causes trouble, and a gossip ruins friendships.
The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People like to gobble them up.
Gossips can’t keep secrets, so avoid people who talk too much.
Without wood, a fire will go out, and without gossip, quarreling will stop.
The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food; people like to gobble them up.