I was reading Psalm 141 this morning. It is a song attributed to David. David cries out to God, asking God to hear his voice and asking that God would regard his prayer as incense rising to Him, and “the lifting of [his] hands as the evening sacrifice.”
Then David says something that I know I need to live by. “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies.” [Ps 141:3-4 NKJV]
I am 72. Across the decades of my life when I found myself in trouble, it was usually not because I “did” something, it was because I “said” something. My tongue, as James says, has needed taming; it is a ruthless evil, full of deadly poison. [James 3]
Of course, my tongue’s ruthlessness springs from a heart that sometimes inclines to arrogance, or judgment, or envy, or rebellion. How often I have needed to pray as David prayed – set a guard, O LORD over my mouth and keep my heart pure and holy before you!
That adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is patently false. Bones heal, but the wound inflicted by an untamed tongue often last a lifetime.
Father God forgive me for the damage my words may have done to others. Keep a guard over my mouth so that I might never hurt another soul. Amen and Amen