By Pastor Sarah
There are so many great instructions found in Proverbs 13, but the one that hurts me to the core is verse 3. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” If ever I had a problem in school it was for my mouth. I seemed to always be talking (this is coming as no shock to those who know me!), and usually at the wrong moment. Talking back, needing the last word in an argument (ok, I won’t say another word), and talking while a person in authority was talking were all things that found me in trouble both at home and at school. I don’t have any memory of getting in trouble for anything other than my mouth and constant need to talk!
And, I talk fast. Research has shown that women speak 13,000 more words per day than men do for a total of around 20,000 words each day. I feel I definitely get all 20,000 spoken and considering I live alone that gives me fewer hours in which to get all those word in – this is no small feat! So, given that I talk quite a bit and talk so quickly how can I possibly be responsible for all that I say? I can’t really give thought to every word before I say it. Or, can I?
I think this Proverb is reminding me that I do have to take responsibility for the things that I say. I need to guard my lips, my words, and my tongue to keep from saying things that are displeasing to the Lord or that tear others down or words that bring ruin. It isn’t something that I’ve ever been able to do on my own. I’m constantly asking God for wisdom and to guard my lips. There will be plenty more verses in the coming days that will remind me of how important it is to speak life and not death, healing and not deceit, to not spread lies or speak folly. It means daily reminders to ask God to set a guard over my mouth and help me to not speak before thinking.
What verse spoke to you today? Are you willing to examine why it hurt you to the core? Are you willing to take steps to change and apply the Proverb to your life? Later in today’s chapter we read, “whoever heeds correction is honored.” It’s difficult when God’s word brings correction and instruction to our lives. It hurts when God’s word illuminates an area we need to work on, but we are honored when we heed the correction and begin to make changes in those areas.
As you read today may you be challenged and may you be honored as you heed the correction (if any) that God speaks to you.