Read Psalm 141:3
3 Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips. (NLT)
Many years ago, I heard the then Prime Minister give a moving speech at the Australian War Memorial, dedicating the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A little while later, sitting in the public gallery of Parliament House, that same Prime Minister spoke hate-filled words of bitterness towards his political opponents.
The Bible says that both good and bad words can come from our mouths. Our words can bless people or burden them, delight them or destroy them. The encouraging words we speak can have a lingering effect. The harmful words we speak can also linger on: we may apologise for such words but we can’t unsay them.
So it is important we take heed of the Psalmist’s words: ask our God to guard our speech. Ask him to have us think before speaking, to do more listening and less talking. We are so intent on speaking our mind that we may forget the impact our words may have on others. Sometimes it is best to not speak our minds: silence can be golden.
Many of us have been inspired by words. Many of us have been wounded by words. And sometimes those words have come from the same individual. May it be that the words we speak leave a legacy of grace and truth. May it be that we are not known for getting things off our chest but for speaking blessing into the hearts and minds of others.