A Guard at the Gate of My Mouth
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Psalm 141:3 ESV
Who’s with me in this prayer?
“I did it again, Lord. My words sliced and diced and put out the lights in my friend’s eyes. Oh, Lord, put a guard at my mouth and only let life-giving words that heal flow from my lips.”
Words have the power to take life or to give life. The words of James about the power of the tongue to tear down or build up resonate with the prayer of the Psalmist, who asked the Lord to set a guard over his mouth and to keep watch over the door of his lips.
This week we will showcase how life-giving words are like “apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) and life-taking words are fierce, destructive fires that destroy (James 3:1-12). Perhaps the biggest surprise is that life-taking words not only hurt others but actually destroy the speaker and that a “tongue on fire corrupts the whole person.”
Jesus assigned responsibility for our words, whether good or bad, on the condition of our hearts:
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
My prayer for each of us this week is that we willingly look into the mirror of scripture, asking the Lord to open our own hearts to the reality of how powerful our words are and when we have used that power to destroy life rather than give life.
Treasured by Him,
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Read Chapter 10 in Treasures of Encouragement
Read James 1:5-8, 26; Matthew 12:34-37 Write something that stands out to you from these verses in your journal.
Take notes during your pastor’s sermon, asking the Lord to open your hearts to any self-righteousness, which is affecting how you speak. Be on the watch for someone who needs a special touch or hug from you, that speaks love and welcome.