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Speech #4—Guarded Speech

I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue. I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, while the wicked are in my presence. Psalm 39:1

“Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” This aphorism is as true in the context of our relationship with God, as it is in the context of human governance. Sin is sneaky. It creeps up on us and attacks from ambush. So we must constantly guard how we live. In particular we must guard our mouths, for they seem to be more troublesome than any other part of our anatomy. One or two words, spoken in the wrong way, at the wrong time, to the wrong person, can injure that person and cripple us spiritually, making us even more susceptible to evil influences. Putting a moral muzzle on our own mouths is not easy, especially when we are around others whose speech is full of ungodliness, but it is necessary. The muzzle can take the shape of a commitment never to say anything, in any way, that dishonors Christ. Another way to prevent evil from coming out of our mouths is by filling our hearts with God’s truth and a deep love for him. Jesus knew this; so he said, “The words of our mouths proceed from our hearts.” Just as it is hard to speak clearly when our mouths are full of food, so it is difficult to speak evil, when our hearts, and therefore our mouths, are full of the love and truth of God. We block evil from escaping by feasting on what is truly good.

“Set a guard, O Eternal, over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.” May my mouth be compelled by your goodness & love.


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