Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23
I’ve made up a song on the bus to help the children remember the rules. It’s a chant in which the children repeat my lines. If you are listening to the audio, you will hear the chant, but this is the number four rule.
Rule number four, you’ll recall Say something nice Or nut’n at all
I took this line from the movie Bambi when Thumper has to recite to his mom the rule about making fun of others. Thumper had made fun of Bambi’s wobbleness as he was learning to walk.
The word guard is the key for the blessing of this verse. It is the same hebrew root word used for the angel stationed at the entrance to the garden of eden after Adam and Eve had to leave. “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24.
In the book of James, he tells us that the tongue is wrestless and no one can tame it. But guarding means being watchful, not perfection. Let’s look at some guardrails for your mind to help follow the path of blessing and not troubles.
Guarding what comes out of your mouth
- Choose to be silent. Intentionally and on purpose practice being quiet in responding. Even while all of the thoughts are swirling around in your head, including the zinger which you want to share is present, choose to be silent.
- Speak life not death. Follow the end of the road of your words. Do they end up bringing life to the situation or death?
- Mirror the thought. Would you want to hear the words and attitude spoken to you in the same way you are about to speak to another?
- GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out or Good In, Good out. What have you been feeding your mind with? More than once, I have turned off a movie because of its repetition of the use of foul language. Guarding your mind chooses to stop the filthy words from entering AND putting more of God’s word into your life through memorization.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help. In Galatians 5, Paul includes filthy language and coarse jesting as deeds of our old way of living. Life following the Holy Spirit will not SOUND like that any more.
On the bus, I tell my children that 90 percent of their problems arise from words they choose to use. Maybe its not that high of a percentage. Most are told to stand up for themselves by cursing back. Make sure you are choosing your next words wisely, and you are not on the playground of responding tit for tat.
May God help you put a guard over your tongue and mouth. May you sow seeds of blessing which will in turn produce a harvest of good in your life. May you live in less calamity and more blessing while you are Thinking on Thursdays.
Blessings Love y’all