Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)
If only I prayed that daily! If only I prayed before I spoke! So often the words come and they are out of my mouth without so much as a filter. How many people have I torn down instead of built up (1 Thess 5:11)? My words matter.
Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. (Ps. 141:5a)
There is a group of women that meet almost every Wednesday night at my house. We figured out we’ve been meeting since 2011. Needless to say, we’ve done a lot of life together. I know them, I know their character. I know their love for the Lord and their desire to walk in righteousness. Do we get it right? Of course not! They have my permission to point out if I am heading in the wrong direction. I trust them and believe they have my best interests at heart. They keep me on the narrow path. Their desire is to always point me to my Lord—and so we are accountable to each other. They are quick to pray for me, build me up, or tell me the truth in love. Their words carry weight.
Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. (Joshua 9:15)
Joshua and the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites. They had heard what happened in Jericho and Ai and did not want to be killed, so they asked to make a treaty with the Israelites after convincing them they had come from far away. They did not inquire of the Lord but made a binding oath in his name. The Gibeonites became water carriers and woodcutters to serve the Lord. God’s word is binding!
14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. (Matt. 17:14-18) NIV
Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy—his words have power.
So often I speak when I should listen, don’t stop to inquire of the Lord and suffer because of it, and try to do things in my own power when I should be trusting Jesus. I am truly a work in progress. Words have such impact on every aspect of our lives. I am so thankful to have the words in the bible to teach me.
Oh Lord, I shake my head as I remember times I’ve hurt people with my words. But through that I’ve learned humility and to ask for forgiveness. There are times I’ve said I would do something when it is not what you wanted me to do at all! Had I asked, life would have been so much easier. I ask for your help in this area. Help me speak words of kindness and encouragement. Help me to stop thinking I know what those words are and pray for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words at the right time. Those words have power that does not come from me! They have power to love and power to heal. Help me use my words wisely. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen