Guarding Our Mouths
Ready The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble. — Proverbs 21:23
Set I was the youngest varsity basketball coach in Indiana. I studied older coaches to gain knowledge, but one area to which I never paid enough attention was when to talk and when to keep quiet. I learned the hard way: by my second year of coaching, I’d received more than ten technical fouls, not for bad language, but for opening my mouth at the wrong time. These failures made me wonder if I’d ever master control over my tongue. Solomon knew that there is a time for speaking and a time to guard our mouths, and many of us would do well to learn his lesson. All too often our lips keep moving when we should be listening. We fall too easily into traps made by our own speech; we forget that if our mouth doesn’t open, we will not be creating a trap to fall into. The Bible attests to the truth that is one of the hardest lessons to learn, an area of life that requires not only wisdom but also self-control. In fact, we cannot tame our tongues without supernatural help. That means we regularly bring our concerns to Jesus asking Him to fill us with His Spirit so that we might honor Him with all we say and do. He invites us to learn from Him, to discover through Scripture how He always knew what to say and when to say it. Because of His great love for us demonstrated on the cross, we know He is faithful to help us control our mouths and will forgive us when we fail to do so. I wish I could say I’ve mastered the art of keeping my mouth shut at the right times, but I’m still working on it. We all are. There is great strength to be found in keeping quiet—strength that comes from God alone.
Go 1. Do you have a hard time "guarding your mouth"? 2. When do your words get you into trouble? 3. How can you take steps to listen more and talk less?
Workout Extra Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1; Ephesians 4:29; James 1:19–20; 1 John 3:18
Overtime Lord, I pray that no rotten talk will come from my mouth but only what is good for building up someone in need. Amen.
1 John 3