‘Lord, help me to control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say. Take away my desire to do evil or to join others in doing wrong.’ Psalm 141:3-4 NCV
It’s amazing to see how many people’s lives have been damaged by negative, critical and ungracious words that have been spoken to them. Often the victims of verbal abuse turn into tormentors themselves, and the epidemic spreads continually. The psalmist is very honest about his need of help. Many people seem to choose to ignore the problem with fatal consequences:
‘ When we avoid dealing with mistakes and pretend they don’t exist, they usually express themselves in ways that we would not anticipate: anger at someone else, frustration at something else, lack of control.’ Max Lucado
This is not a battle that we are supposed to fight on our own, with our own weapons and resources. We need God’s strength and protection. We need to be humble and vulnerable enough to ask Him in prayer.
We need to stop and wait and weigh-up what we are about to ‘let go’ from out mouths. It involves self-control and a calculated attempt to evaluate the consequences our words could bring on someone else’s life. And it involves love, of the expensive sacrificial variety…The one that forgives and does not stoop in dirt… Paul gave some great advice to the believers in Efes:
‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.’
My God, I want to use my words in a wise way. I need your help in avoiding to say wrong things to those around me, when facing pressures. I ask You to give me the ability to show everyone graciousness, love and encouragement today.