Watch Your Mouth

By Donna Shepherd
NABBW’s Inspiration Expert

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies (Psalm 34:13 niv).

An elderly woman has been in the news today. She got in big trouble for spouting off and making very controversial remarks to the media. Her comments could not be interpreted as anything but small-minded and bigoted. Because of the uproar, she resigned from a long-held position as a newspaper columnist.

I was offended by this woman\’s views, but joked with some friends that the older I get, the more apt I am to let loose and opine with abandon on almost any subject.

My friend, Georgia, said, “Some people think age gives them the right to speak their mind no matter who they hurt, and that\’s not so.”

Ouch, and oh, me! Georgia is right! And all the more true that as a Christian, I should reign in any tendency to be flippant with my words. In the Bible we read where James said, “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5 niv). With one word, we can insult, hurt, or demean someone. One short statement can spark an argument. A relationship can go up in flames after a fiery exchange.

King David is an excellent example of someone who learned the value of tempering speech. He wrote, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth” (Psalm 39:1).

My goal is to pause before speaking. Think first. Will my words build up, inspire, and help? I intend to memorize Proverbs 12:18, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

When I was a teen, my mom would frequently tell me to \’watch my mouth.\’ Proverbs 21:23 puts it another way. “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” As women who left our teen years behind many moons ago, let us not use age as our excuse to cease guarding our words. May we never leave destruction in our wake by the way we talk.

Remember – “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

Prayer: God, I know that without Your help, I cannot control my tongue. I ask for your strength and the power of the Holy Spirit that I will guard my tongue and watch my mouth. Whenever possible, help me to say pleasant, sweet words, and bring healing with the things I say. In Jesus\’ Name I pray. Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).