May 4th Devotion

Guarding Our Words
by Laura Bailey

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.” Psalm 141:3-4 NIV

Recently my mother “gifted” me with a slew of keepsakes from my childhood: trophies, cards, papers, pictures. Eager to dive into their mom’s past, my girls spent the afternoon with me rummaging through the boxes. Holding a plastic trophy, my eldest daughter, squinting at the label, “most outspoken award.” “Mom, what does outspoken mean?” Cringing, I began to explain, someone outspoken tends to give opinions without thinking about how they might affect other people’s views. My middle daughter piped up, “Oh, yeah, that describes you perfectly.” Ouch.

In my teens, I wore my brashness as a badge of honor. I said whatever I wanted to whoever I wanted. I didn't care whether it was received well or not. That was not my problem. My classmates nominated me for the reward, and the day I received it, I swelled with pride.

It had been almost twenty years since I’d received that award, but it is an ongoing struggle to tame my tongue, as my daughter pointed out. For years I blamed my lack of self-control and brashness on my temperament. My personality is bold and my words blunt. I excused my frankness by claiming clarity and honesty. In hindsight, I realized I cared more about my opinions and having my voice heard than I cared about others.

James 3:5 tells us, “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” Unfortunately, my words have set fire to relationships over the years, leaving nothing but ashes. Our words, like a real fire, burn everything in their path. Eventually, the flames are extinguished, but the damage and scars are beyond repair.

I began to study the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit started to convict me when I started to let my words run wild. Thankfully as I matured in my relationship with Christ, I realized that my words carry tremendous weight. I came across Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Yes! That’s exactly what I need—a guard over my mouth. Maybe even a lock and key option?

Psalm 141 gives us a glimpse into the heart of David. He cries out to God, confessing his wicked ways and sinful desires and asking that God redeem and rescue him from his sin. David knew that the product of his words was what was in his heart. He didn’t just ask the Lord to guard his speech, but his heart as well.

For some of us, watching our words proves impossible. But, I’ve learned to prevent potential heartache by pausing before I speak. It seems trite, but it’s necessary to help us guard our hearts and keep a diligent hold on our speech. I like to take a minute to think through my response. Will my words bring hurt or harm? Or will they encourage and edify?

We have choices in how we use our words. Fire can be deadly and destructive. But it can bring warmth and sustenance. Let us be people who keep a close watch on our tongues, renewing our hearts and minds daily, as we seek to be life-giving in all we say and do.
Posted in
Tagged with

No Comments





10 nations 5th bowl judgment 6th Bowl Anxiety Armageddon Attributes of God Autism Battles Battle Be on Guard Be still Bearing with one another Being Still Bible Blessing God Bowl Judgment #2 Bow Busyness Christmas Comfort Coming of Jesus Contentment Content Courage Crown of righteousness Directing our paths Disappointment Discipleship Earthquakes Easter Encouragement End times Eric Lidell Eternity Evil Exemplary prayer Faith over fear Faith wavers Faithful with Litlle Feeding the Fire Fellowship with God Free Generosity Giants Gideon Giving thanks God at work God in our midst God is working God's Help God's Holiness God's Involvment God's Timing God's Whispers God's call on your life God's delays God's direction God's pleasure God's will Grattitude Guarding our words Hearing from God Heart of Service Heart of the problem Hidden Blessings His Love Hope If Only Incomparable Word Jesus' Kingdom Jesus' return Jesus Lightning Listen for His voice Listening Little by little Living godly Love Loving God's word Moments More Need New Covenant Not Looking back Obstacles One world religion People Persistence in prayer Pour in spirit Power Praise Praising God Pray without ceasing Prayer life Prayer Pray Progress Protection Proverbs Purpose Rainbows Reading the bible Reason Redemption Rejoicing Rock Self-Focus Serviing Setbacks Shepherd Singing Spiritual Vitamins Standing tall Stepping out Still on the throne Striving Thank God Thankfulness The Good News The Prize The Tongue The Word The gift Thunder Time with God Trumpet Two witnesses Vision Waiting patiently Waterfall Weak Weary Soul Wisdom Worry Worship You matter Your race all together antichrist assumptions balancing things best laid plans blessings coming of the Lord continuing in sin daily bible study darkness delight in the word of God delight distractions doubt drinking water endurance everyday faith family breakdown fear forest for the trees godlessness godliness godly life good times grace growing up grumbling hard times hearts towards heaven heat joy kings of the east knowledge lasting Covenant living for Jesus longing for God loving one another make a way mark of the beast miracles missing names of God needing Answers nothing goes right patience peace pleasing God prepared provision rapture relationships running searing seas turned to blood season set example setting out sing unto the Lord sin spend time with Jesus sunburn thanksgiving thanksgivi thought life trusting God two-witnesses unanswered prayers understanding unfulfilled desires waiting walk faithfully walk in the light walk with God walking with God want water to blood waver in prayers weapon white horse willingness word of God world chaos yes to God