Let’s just be honest. Our words get us in a lot of trouble. Right? We are too quick to say things we ought not to say or we say things in the wrong spirit or we sometimes intentionally try to deceive or hurt with our tongues. Some of us more than others, yes, but all of us have a problem with our words. (And while we are at it let’s be sure that in this high tech, social media age, we include the words we produce with our fingers through texting, email, Facebook, etc.) Men have recognized this for ages. Shakespeare said, “Give thy thoughts no tongue.” That’s why the Scripture has so much to say about words. In WWII an ad campaign warned, “Loose lips sink ships.”
God wants us to beware with our words too.
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (13:3)
“An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.” (Prov 12:13)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov 18:21)
“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (James 3:2)
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5)
“But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)
Folks, let’s listen to the wisdom of God and let the Holy Spirit direct us in the use of our words. Before you speak or type, ask the Lord if the words you are about to use will bring glory to him. Does what you want to say and the attitude of your heart in the way you want to say it make the gospel look good? If not, don’t say it. Don’t type it. The world certainly doesn’t need more verbiage — especially of the non-edifying kind.
Let us all pray with David: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) Or again, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (Psalm 141:3) Paul told Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Prayer: Father, help me guard my words. Help me guard my heart attitude that wants to spill forth words that are not pleasing to you. Help me to honor you with my lips and my writing. Through your Holy Spirit’s power, O God, please tame my tongue.