Psalm 139 Scripture Memory Challenge 2011: Verse 4 “As for Me and My Mouth”

As for Me and My Mouth, We Will Bless the Lord!

Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.
Psalm 139:4

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, as the Bible tells 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 the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

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

Oh, to take back all of 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-recent), cringing after the fact 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 the fact. By then it’s too late. It’s already been recorded on the mind and heart of the hearer. Maybe you know as well as I do that once it crosses the lips, there’s just no taking back what we’ve said, no matter how hard you try. Been there?

So what’s the answer? As for me and my mouth, this is what I’m putting to work:

1. Memorize Psalm 139:4 and remember that the One who knows your thoughts and examines them before you speak loves you. Bless Him by speaking a blessing.

2. Replace my “stinkin thinkin” by taking Paul’s advice in Colossians 3:16 and “Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly…” In my mind and in my heart… and flowing out of my mouth.

3. Stop and think before I speak, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

4. Continually praise the Lord! Praise opens up 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)~
xo – P