As for Me and My Mouth

Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
Psalm 139:4 NIV

That’s a sobering thought: Before I ever say anything… God already knows what’s coming. The question is: Will the Lord be blessed by what’s about to roll off my tongue… and will others be blessed to hear it?

Let’s rephrase that: Do my words bring healing or hurt?

That all depends on what we’ve been stockpiling in our hearts! The Scriptures tell us, “… the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). Maybe you’ve heard it said that hurting people hurt people. Our words express what we feel on the inside in our spirit or “inner man.” And what we feel is primarily driven by what we think.

King David must have had a few issues with his own mouth and obviously learned the importance of thinking before speaking when he prayed,

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NIV

And again, praying for a divine muzzle, he asked the Lord to…

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3 NIV

Oh, to take back all my verbal folly!

Too many times I’ve let careless and hurtful words fly out of my mouth in the past (both the distant and the not-so-distant), cringing as I heard my own voice speak those things, thinking to myself, “Why did I just say that?” But the time to think it over is not after it’s been said. By then it’s too late…it’s already recorded on the mind and heart of the hearer.

Maybe you know as well as I do that once those words cross our lips, there’s just no taking back what we’ve said, no matter how hard we try. Been there?

So, what’s the answer?

As for me and my mouth, this is what I’m putting to work. Join me, won’t you?

  1. Memorize Psalm 139:4 and remember that the One who knows our thoughts and examines them before we speak loves us. Let’s bless Him by speaking a blessing!
  2. Take Paul’s advice in Colossians 3:16 and “Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly…” In our minds and in our hearts… and flowing out of our mouths.
  3. Stop and think before we speak. “Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
  4. Continually praise the Lord! Praise opens the pathway of blessing and healing in us and through us…and satisfies our hungry hearts, making it difficult to speak hurtful and careless words (Psalm 103:1-5; Psalm 40:1-3).
  5. And finally, remember the immortal words of my “Nony” – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Perhaps that was her paraphrase of Proverbs 21:23 that says, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Pressing on in His unfailing love (and with a well muzzled mouth)…while remembering, you are greatly and dearly loved by the King!

I love y’all, too!