One Year Bible: II Kings 4:18-5:27, Acts 15:1-35; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 17:23
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
One researcher has found that the average American has thirty conversations a day and will spend one-fifth of their life talking. In one year’s time, your conversations could fill sixty-six books at 800 pages each.
How come, with so much practice speaking, few of us have ever gained complete or even consistent mastery of the content of our communication?
Think about it: Just a few inflammatory words set off a chain of events that look like World War III in your life. You come home from work tired and cranky, and yell at your wife…she yells at the oldest kid…he yells at little sister…she goes out and kicks the dog…the dog bites the cat…the cat comes in and scratches the baby…the baby rips the head off the Barbie doll.
Wouldn’t it be a whole lot simpler if the husband just ripped off Barbie’s head himself?
Your words matter! Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that our words can either kill or they can give life. That’s how powerful they are. And more importantly, our words reveal what is going on within us. Matthew 12:34 says that our words only reveal what is already inside our heart. That is why controlling our mouth must begin with reforming our heart.
So what does your mouth reveal about your heart? If we were to play back a tape recording of every conversation you’ve had this week, what would we learn about you? That you have a bitter, angry, hurtful, doubtful heart, or that your heart is faithful, hopeful and loving?
David knew he would need supernatural help if he was going to get both heart and mouth in the right place with God. That’s why he prayed for Divine help. You and I need to pray that too, every day! We can’t do it alone. I know I can’t—I’m living proof of that. But I think God will help us if we sincerely ask him. He never encourages us to do something that he is not willing to help with.
And if we get God’s help, there isn’t anything we can’t do…even zipping our lips!
“God has given us two ears, but one tongue, to show that we should be swift to hear, but slow to speak. God has set a double fence before the tongue, the teeth and the lips, to teach us to be wary that we offend not with our tongue.”