Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Psalm 141:3 NLT
Some things seal better than others.
My wife and I discovered this when she had shoulder surgery. The doctor did not issue her an ice machine afterward but simply told her to ice the incision area to keep down swelling. Since we didn’t have an ice pack available at the moment, I took a freezer bag—a cheap freezer bag—filled it with ice, and placed it on her shoulder.
In short order, the ice melted. Prior to my going to bed, I filled the freezer bag full and placed it on her shoulder. The next morning, the melted ice water had leaked from the bag, ran down her shoulder, and soaked her clothes. A cheap freezer bag doing what cheap freezer bags do.
I buy store brands for most things, but some store brands are just not as good. Matching up the seams is next to impossible. Once sealed, the seam is easy to open or to come open on its own, making it a poor choice for an ice pack or for anything else in liquid form.
The psalmist begged for God to guard or seal his lips. Not that he never wanted to talk but that he wanted to be careful when he did.
If I could control my tongue, I could save myself a lot of trouble. And I’ve met several people in my life who I could say the same of. In fact, what the psalmist asks God to do is something everyone should ask God to do.
One research found that we open our mouths around 700 times each day. I imagine many of those times I do so without thinking. Like the woman who once introduced herself to me and then said, “I speak before I think.” I’ve been with her more times than I care to admit, but keeping my mouth shut more cures the problem of speaking before I think.
Keeping our mouths closed more than open cuts down on gossip. The less I open my mouth, the less likely I will say things about others I shouldn’t. And it also silences those who might falsely accuse us as Christians. What comes from our mouths should reflect our character—and the name of Christ.
Ask God to guard your lips so that what you say will build others up and honor the name of Christ.
Prayer: Father, give us wisdom to know when to speak up and when to shut up.
Tweetable: Do you have trouble sealing your lips?
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