October 30 - Psalm 141

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30 - Psalm 141

For me, the strongest words of this Psalm are found in verse three.  “Set a guard over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Instead, from verse two, what we find is that the Psalmist pleads with God that his prayers be like incense and when he lifts his hands in praise, may it be like the evening sacrifice.

James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and doesn't keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.”

The warnings against ‘evil’ speech in scripture are many.  From gossip to slander, idle talk, backbiting and false accusations; there are over one hundred references about and warnings against such behavior.

Yet, we continue to hurl venomous words out of our mouths at any opportunity; in fact, many times we feel that we are justified in speaking our mind.  If we feel we have been slighted, we rise up and speak the truth with great self-righteousness, never thinking about how our words fall on people around us.  In the middle of a political campaign, it is perfectly within our rights to speak our mind, even though we say terrible things about another human being.  I've listened as the most vile words leave people’s mouths in the middle of church meetings because they are angry about a decision which has been made. They don’t give a second thought to the people who on the other side of the argument, as if they don’t belong there.

That’s just a small part of the equation. We act as if we are taking someone into our confidence when we discuss another person’s failings.  Everyone is so self-righteous about those conversations.  We talk about entire groups of people and set ourselves above them; whether they are poor or their skin is another color or they speak in a different language or they live a different lifestyle.  Because they are different, we feel as if we must alert the world to those differences and the fact that we are obviously better than them.

Every morning, I should wake up and pray that short prayer.  Dear Lord, set a guard over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.  It is from my lips the both curses and praise can flow and it is important that the curses stay locked up while praise flows freely.