The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Whoever would foster love, covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Those who guard their mouths and keep their tongues from calamity
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
When we see the emphasis and time the Bible spends on the power of words and their influence in life, we need to make sure we pay the same close attention to not only what we do but what we say. Terms like “guarding” and “keeping” are important to our mouths if we want to have success in life.
I can admit that it’s not always the easiest thing to hold my tongue when I feel like something needs to be said. Maybe you are the type of person who speaks first and then evaluates what just came out of your mouth. I think that is why the Bible places such a premium on words because once those things are said it is very hard, if not impossible, to take them back.
So how do we “guard our mouths” as well as our hearts in life? I think one of the primary ways is to make sure we put the Word of God in our hearts and are people of prayer. I know that when I have not spent sufficient time reading my Bible or spending time in prayer that I am more prone to say the first things that come to mind instead of mindfully considering well-placed words. The problem with hasty words is that many times they are more about proving you are right or posturing yourself in a situation versus bringing healing and solving problems.
The other thing we can do is be in accountability with someone we trust. God created us to be in relationship with one another and that includes pushing each other to excellence. When we put ourselves into an accountable relationship, we are admitting we need help in an area and not giving ourselves an excuse to make poor decisions and then use that relationship as a confessional time.
Today, don’t just consider where you will go or what you will do in life but also be mindful of the words that can cause death or bring life to the people around you. Jesus not only came to meet needs but to speak truth that helped give direction and set captive people free. God gave us that same power and is trusting that we will know when to hold our tongue when it will cause more harm than good or to speak the truth in love and watch God’s power be released in others AND ourselves.