Today you should read: Proverbs 13
“Hey! Watch yo mouth…”
The title you just read should have a Rocky Balboa “accent” attached to it. It should be followed by the words, “you talk’n to me?”
As funny as it seems, we actually should “watch our mouths.” In fact, we should guard them extremely carefully. This chapter has so much straightforward advice, but perhaps one of the greatest is found in verses 2-3. Why are these verses so important? Well, verse 3 goes as far to say that, “whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Really? Your mouth can really set the direction of your life? The answer is yes. And it will steer your life in the wrong way if you’re not careful. It doesn’t matter how pure your intentions are when you are in your “quiet time.” If you don’t guard your mouth outside of it, you will find yourself on a slippery slope to ruin. Remember, Jesus’ second most important command is to love people. We have no business worrying about anything else until we get this in check.
The Lord has been working in me about this topic, here are some principles I’ve learned:
1. When necessary, say hard things, but in gracious ways. – Your tone and attitude can communicate the same words in two completely different ways. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
2. Pray before you speak. – Of course you can’t do this about everything, but be aware that just because your feelings are telling you to speak something, it doesn’t mean the Lord is telling you to speak something. Ask yourself the question, “Is it necessary?”
3. Consider timing and type. – Timing: Just because you want to get it off your chest right now, it does not mean that now is the right time. This takes self-control. Things to consider:
• Are there others around that will make it embarrassing for the other person?
• What is going on in their life? Are your words going to be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back? If so, refrain.
• Are your emotions going to drown out your words? If you are in a hyper-emotional state, press pause.
Type: Is face to face necessary? Consider that emails, texts, and Fb messages are often misinterpreted. It also gives you a little too much “boldness.” It may protect you to do it in person.
4. Consider your purpose. – Honestly. Is your purpose to build up the other person in love? Or is it to prove your point? If it’s the first, this must change before you speak, and my guess is once your purpose changes, your words will too. You may not even want to say it anymore. – Ephesians 4:29
I have been memorizing and meditating on Ephesians 4:29-32. I highly encourage you to do the same. Just as a small insight into this verse; it says to “let NO unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but ONLY what is good for building up.” “NO” and “ONLY.” Those are absolute words, friends.
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione