Oh, Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

If I had a dollar for every time my big, fat mouth has gotten me in trouble, I would be able to buy a private island where I could live isolated from those who I have hurt, offended, or just plain annoyed. You introverts reading this might not understand. Many of you naturally think before you speak and weigh your words carefully before throwing them out there for all to hear. But you extroverts — you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Words can be wonderful. The Proverbs are full of the ways in which words can help, heal, comfort, encourage. I have benefitted from “words fitly spoken” on many, many occasions. I want my words to be like that – refreshing, beautiful, “apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

But words can also be devastating. We all know that sticks and stones hurt far less than words, no matter what the old rhyme says. The wounds that harsh words leave take a long time to heal. I am ashamed to say that I have inflicted wounds like that. And, no matter how badly I felt after those words were out, no matter how much I apologized, I couldn’t erase what was said.

So how do we “guard our tongues” so that what we say is helpful and not hurtful? Jesus said that we speak from the overflow of our hearts. So if we want to speak words that are good, we need to focus our hearts on what is good. Meditate on God’s words, let them fill us so that, when we speak, that is what comes out. When we focus on what we don’t like, who we don’t like, that will come out when we speak.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart

be pleasing in your sight,

Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”   Ps. 19:14


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