3 Set a guard over my mouth, LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips. (NIV)
The Bible says the power of life and death is found in the tongue. We can say all day that words can’t hurt us, but the truth is that words give life or bring death. We eat the fruit of our own lips, the Bible says. What comes out of our own mouths will give life to our spirit and bring death to our souls. We can speak words of life to others or dialogues of death. Words matter.
The psalmist is asking the Lord to help him guard his words. And we do need help with our words. In deep emotion, we can let fly words more destructive than a heat-seeking missile. Once the words leave our lips, we can’t get them back. We need help. And the Lord is our help.
When we ask the Lord for help in places like this, He reveals to us the way, and the path to receive what we ask. When we ask for the Lord to help us keep a tight reign on our tongue so we will stop hurting people so badly, He shows us the way.
We cannot guard our words until we know from where they come. The Bible says out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The words we speak reveal our heart’s condition. To guard our words, we must first guard our hearts.
The messages of this age bombard us with precepts and philosophies, insults and digs, comments, and opinions. To some degree, our hearts can be porous, and these things will get to us deeply. But the Bible says no matter what we do, first guard our hearts. We must be wise in what we allow ourselves to hear, listen to, consider, and be affected by.
If we want our words to change, we might need to make some life changes to guard ourselves against negative influences. We need to set boundaries for ourselves when it comes to people who judge us harshly, condemn us continually, and tempt us broadly with worldly thought. As we protect our hearts, our conversation will be flavored with the love, joy, and peace of God.
Prayer: Lord, give me the wisdom to know where I need to set boundaries with people, places, and activities so that I might also guard my tongue. Amen.