Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong. Let the godly strike me! It will be kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it. But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds. When their leaders are thrown down form a cliff, the wicked will listen to my words and find them true. Like rocks brought up by a plow, the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial. I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord. You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me. Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of the those who do wrong. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, but let me escape. Psalm 141: 3-10 NLT
The first verse of this psalm should be my life’s motto: take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. I need this on two counts: for my preaching and for my everyday words. I need God to control what I say when I preach. In fact, I long for God’s Spirit to infuse me and speak through me. I don’t want to share my ideas but God’s message.
It is too bad that I don’t want that same infusion when I speak every day. Sometimes, when words have left my mouth, I can’t believe I just said what I did. Many times my words are critical, hurtful and full of malice. My heart is angry or burdened or just cannot see the good to say. Instead of simply keeping my mouth shut, I say hurtful things. Often I am the wicked one who needs to fall into my own net.
What do you think your life’s motto should be?
Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Keep me from hurting others with my words. I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord. You are my refuge. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright Amelia G. Sims 2012