Zip It

Read Psalm 141

Featured Verse: Psalm 141:3

“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

If you are an average American, research has found that you will have thirty conversations a day. That means over a lifetime, one-fifth of your life will be spent talking. In one year’s time, your conversations could fill sixty-six books at 800 pages each.  Yes—you’re that prolific!

So here’s the question:  Since we have that much practice speaking, how is it that so few of us have ever gained complete, or even just a 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 our lives. A husband come home from a hard day at work, tired and cranky, and yells at your wife.  The wife takes it out on the oldest kid, who then punches his little sister.  Little sis goes outside and kicks the poor dog, so the dog bites the cat, and the cat comes inside and scratches the baby, who crawls over to the toy box and rips the head off the Barbie doll.

Wouldn’t it have been a whole lot simpler if the husband had 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. Equally important, 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 were 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.” ~Thomas Watson

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