Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
–Psalm 141:3 NIV
Why is it so important to watch what you say—because there is power in your words? Yes. Your words can bring about either goodness or despair, life or death. There are times when it is better to be silent and just listen. Think more before you speak. Try to guard your words. You don’t want to regret what you can’t take back. It is not always important to have the last word—sometimes that actually ends up making matters worse. When you respond to another, try to have discipline and control, choosing your words carefully.
Your words should reflect your relationship to God. Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” You always have a choice when you speak. Remember, the world is watching how Christians treat each other. We are walking, talking representatives of Jesus. Colossians 4:6 (NIV) says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
It is not always easy to curb your tongue. It does not happen overnight, but you can learn to control your words in time.
- Help me, Lord, to be quick to listen and slow to speak (see James 1:19).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you, blessing others with life-giving words.