Psalms 39:1-4 “(To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.) I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”
Today’s reading in the Psalms so speaks to a great need in my life. I speak before a group of people at least twice every week. It gives me every opportunity to reach someone; touch them with God’s Word; influence them for good and be used of God to help them to grow closer to Him.
There are some people that I have met who can speak very plainly, clearly and with such passion. Others fail to get the message across; seem muddled and prattle on; failing to give a clear message. Still others have a way of saying the right thing at the right time to the right person.
I believe that David expressed his heart when he shared this psalm. He knew the power of the spoken word. He prayed for God to govern his tongue. He thought it best to not say something instead of saying that which might hurt or destroy.
My ministry brings me in contact with people who have been severely abused. Physically, verbally, emotionally, mentally and sexually. In every case, the words spoken in those situations became chords of bondage that held them captive. The threat of harm if exposed; the mental beatdown into submitting to be the victim becomes a way of thinking; a way of living. They believe the lies that often when the abuser is in a rage, they think in some way, it was their fault.
Often, I hear some speak so casually, that the words they speak are inappropriate, edgy, and almost indecent. Comedians are famous for pushing the envelope. They use humor to introduce something into a conversation that is better left unsaid. We do not need to share every humorous thing that enters our mind. What may be humor to us might set someone into thinking wrongly about us, about our church, about the one speaking, about many things that we do not have control once it leaves our lips.
The book of James speaks very well about the power of the tongue.
James 3:5-6 “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
You cannot speak as often as many in ministry do without saying something askew. Realizing the potential for failure, what are we to do?
Psalms 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Psalms 141:3 “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees with regards to the words they spoke:
Matthew 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
People will speak about that which they are passionate. Monday mornings after a weekend of sporting activities; the return from vacation; attendance to a concert, theater or play; we all share with someone because we are excited about what we experienced.
But do we share with our coworkers what a great day it was to be with God’s people? How the message the preacher brought touched us deeply? What truths we learned or how we were able to lead a soul to Christ? Why are those not first on our lips to those who so willingly share their escapades?
Are we so afraid of letting them know who we are? What we are?
To declare that we are Christian would mean that we would have to then live it – maybe that is where we falter. Living in the shadows without letting others know who we are allows me to cover my sin; live as I please without repercussions.
This old world will not accept us nor embrace us. In fact, there may be coming a day, very soon, that we in America will be persecuted for our faith. Other countries around the world already do. Why should we be any different?
Can you give a reason for the hope that is in you of Heaven?
Can you tell a lost soul how to find salvation in Jesus Christ?
Can you give words of comfort to a dying soul?
You may think yourself insignificant – but that is not what your Heavenly Father thinks.
Luke 12:7-9 “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”
Let us not be found to deny the very One who saved our soul from an eternal Hell. May our words today be sprinkled with love and compassion, mercy and grace; that they may know that God truly loves them and wants them to be saved!