Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips
Do you ever have difficulty knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet? I do. I haven't always had that difficulty. There was a time when I chose not to speak no matter what. It was just too risky, and I was afraid to take risks.
When I open my mouth now, people don't know all the work God did in my life to pry my lips open. They don't know the fears He freed me from, and how He taught me to trust Him when He asks me to take risks. My words may sound to them like just words, but to me they have become a testimony of God's goodness and a demonstration of His power over the strongholds in my life - like fear.
The older I get, the more I want to jump in with my "words of wisdom," especially when I see someone heading down a dangerous path that I've traveled down before. Isn't it my duty to save them from pain and suffering if I can? Well, perhaps sometimes it is, but more times it's not. Often the only words God wants to hear out of my mouth are prayers, as I lift the situation or person up to Him. That's the hard part of freedom - knowing the difference.
It was easier when I was afraid to talk, because the choice was already made. But there was no growing or stretching involved in that, no discernment learned. Now I am responsible for my words...all of them. As a mater-of-fact God is keeping a journal and He will hold me accountable for every silly one I speak. Since God is keeping an account, I need to make sure my words count for something more than filling the air or a notebook. I need to keep a guard on my lips, not out of fear but out of obedience.
The kind of words I'm sure God never tires of hearing are those of love that exhort and encourage others, and bring praise and glory to Him - spoken from the heart.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
When we meditate on these things it's amazing how they travel from our mind to our mouth and help us speak those words which are pleasing to God.
Buttoning my lip...for now.