"A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul"
This insight that Solomon drops in our lap is crucial. How do you spot a person who is a fool? It is through what they say. Their constant selfish, impulsive, and rebellious speech is a clear give-away. Many of us do not want to face the fact that someone we know and, maybe even like, is a fool in the moral sense of the word. But Solomon is trying to get us to perceive this type of person before we try and depend upon them; before we try and delegate things to them; before we get sucked into their folly; before we get in an argument with them.
It is their mouth that keeps getting them in trouble. They do not have discipline in terms of what they say. Just as James says, if a man is able to bridle the tongue then they are able to bridle the whole body as well.
A fool – if they could look at themselves objectively – could answer the question: How did we get into this mess? With the answer, my mouth.
An application from this verse is that if your words, letters, speeches, emails, instant messengers, etc., are continually getting you in trouble, then you are becoming a fool.
his lips are the snare of his soul
The fool destroys his own opportunities. Everyone has opportunities but the fool fouls them by continually talking inappropriately or arrogantly or impulsively or rebelliously. What you say can change the whole direction of your life. It can also bait a trap that will swallow your whole potential in life.
Bring some discipline to your mouth; do not let it say everything that comes to your mind; put a filter in place which pauses before you speak what you are thinking. Do not destroy an opportunity by saying what sounded right at the time but with a little reflection should have been abandoned.
If you have been a fool in your speech, then repent and apologize and be different.