Stopping Your Mouth At The Right Source

We all have problems with our speech. It may not be vile, profane speech, but the constant inappropriate word. Unkindness to our mate, rudeness to a waiter, irritation and yelling at our kids, the curt response to a colleague. A lack of praise and thanks to a co-worker who is working diligently and unnoticed. There are a thousand ways we speak “rotten words” as Paul says (Ephesians 4:29)…and we’re masters at all of them.

The Psalmist realized the need to cry out for Divine help. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”(Psalm 141:3) He knew that without God’s intervention the refuse of his sinful soul would come pouring out.

But He also asked God to go to the source of the problem. Jesus said that the “mouth speaks of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). This was not just a possibility, but a statement of fact He was uttering. Whatever fills our heart will make its way up through the vocal chords. If we are bitter, this vile acid comes up in verbal reflux and out our mouths. Unforgiving? It is not only thought, but heard in just matter of time. Filled with God’s Word? It will come out also. In love with Jesus? You can’t help but sing His praises and tell others. And on and on. It is universally true.

“Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!” (Psalm 141:4)

The Psalmist knew that a wayward tongue always begins with a wayward heart. The incline to evil takes us there and soon our heart is filled and our mouth belies our affections. But it begins with a heart that is leaning in to evil.

Excuse the picture, but it’s useless to treat a commode problem when it’s a sewer issue. Start at the source.


©2012 Bill Elliff. Originally posted on October 27th, 2012 at Bill Elliff’s Blog.