O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice,
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds
with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.
I’ve not ever thought about how many words I speak in a day, I do however know that I type several words per day. Whether coming from the lips or from the hands, words are powerful tools, and if the heart is not in a right place, words become weapons of mass destruction. Last time I checked their were no government agencies or the military coming into our homes to check for WMD’s, however if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a verbal attack or the center of someones gossip session, then you might not think this as farfetched as it sounds. Can’t you just imagine how that would play out. One day there’s a knock at your door and you are told that someone has turn you in, your crime; using words as weapons and you were now considered a threat to others. Sounds like a bad movie doesn’t it?
As bad as it is to be talked about or viciously spewed upon by an inconsiderate verbal tyrant, I dare say it would be worse to be the one who is guilty of spreading malicious gossip or humiliating someone in public. I confess I am one to say snippy remarks while driving down the road, someone cuts me off or does something stupid while operating a vehicle, these things are often overheard by my teens who are riding in the car with me. Of course I was not aware of how bad I sounded until I rode in the car with my teenage son and he was driving. Of course I gently reminded him to be kind behind the wheel and he gently reminded me that he’s heard worse from me. Hummm…oh the joys of be convicted by your children.
So praying to God to set a guard over my mouth seems quite logical to me. To watch over the door of my lips…I know it’s wrong to add words to the Bible but I really think David should have added; “and grasp thy tongue with your finger tips”. Oh well…that does get covered in the book of James. In fact not only should I recite this Psalm every morning, I should have it tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.
Daily I witness hundreds of people writing words on social media sites and leaving comments on blogs; sometimes those words are not kind, sometimes those words are just plain ugly and I wonder, do those people know that other people can see what they write, not only that but what they write on the internet stays there forever? Kind of like those cave man drawings…yeah, imagine that. Your words might still be there for all to read centuries from now.
Let my heart not be drawn into what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evil doers. So you think that would mean the next time your circle of friends start to gossip you; a) join in; b) keep quite; or c) gently rebuke and change the subject. Let me not eat of their delicacies. If this is hard to follow through with, let me share the wisdom I always gave my children…If your talking about someone who is not there and the things being said would not be said face to face; then it’s gossip. And, if you participate or allow it most likely you will end up with mud on your face, because the person being talked about will always find out, usually they are told by one of the very same people who was knee deep in the gossip themselves. Funny how that works. Secondly, those people you are with will talk about you as soon as you’re not around, so you best find new friends.
Of course Thumper’s mama in the movie Bambie had the best advice of all; “If you don’t have anything nice to say; don’t say nothin at all!”
For me; I also have to remember that thoughts are words from my heart and thinking it is no different that saying it…would you not agree? So, my prayer every morning in addition to the Psalm;
Father prepare my heart for this day, soften my heart so that it’s tender and kind. Protect my thoughts and let my words be kind and encouraging to all. Give me wisdom and courage to stand firm. Let my words and actions glorify you. Amen