Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Set A Watch
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the doors of my lips. Psalms141:3
I've been thinking a lot over the last few months about words, conversation, and the things I say, especially when it comes to speaking to and of others. Words really do have power - they can uplift and they can destroy, and once spoken, can never be retrieved. I've learned some lessons the difficult way when it comes to the area of the tongue. Through deep repentance and striving to master my words, I have been driven to seek out verses and such like about the tongue - a sobering search. Here I'll share some of what has really spoken to me.
James describes the tongue as a fire, a world of iniquity...an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.(Jam. 3:6+8) and Solomon compares it to the piercings of a sword. (Prov.12:18) Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov 18:21) What words do we speak to others? Are we giving life or are we causing death by the things we say? When upset or angry, do we lash out what comes first to our minds? Someone once said, "Speak when you're angry, and you'll give the biggest speech you'll ever regret." Are we busy running around learning and spreading all the knewest, juiciest news to be had? Paul gives firm admonishings about being busybodies. Do we ever wonder why there is so much trouble in the Church today? It seems that someone always has something to say about the other. Are we careful to keep that which someone has told us in confidence? "A talebearer revealeth secrets, but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth a matter. (Prov.11:13) And just because we know something, doesn't mean it's always wise to share it. "A prudent man concealeth knowledge." (Prov. 12:23) and "He that hath knowledge spareth his words.."(Prov. 17:27)
Do we consider how we might be hurting someone by what say either to them or about them? Are we careful not to slander another's name or reputation? Are we careful not to put another down in order to raise ourselves up? Edward Paxton Hood states: "When we advance a little in life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief in the world." I believe we can safely say that that is true. May we heed Paul's words, "to study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands." (1Thess. 4:11) May we remember that "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. (Prov.18:19) And may we endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace," (Eph.4:3)..."to walk in love (Eph.5:1)...and that our "speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt." (Col. 4:6)
May God bless,