Saturday, July 19, 2008

Say, “Ahhh.”

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
—Psalm 141:3

A man working in the produce department was asked by a lady if she could buy half a head of lettuce. He replied, "Half a head? Are you serious? God grows these in whole heads and that's how we sell them!"
"You mean," she persisted, "that after all the years I've shopped here, you won't sell me half-a-head of lettuce?"
"Look," he said, "If you like I'll ask the manager."
She indicated that would be appreciated, so the young man marched to the front of the store. "You won't believe this, but there's a lame-braided idiot of a lady back there who wants to know if she can buy half-a-head of lettuce."
He noticed the manager gesturing, and turned around to see the lady standing behind him, obviously having followed him to the front of the store. "And this nice lady was wondering if she could buy the other half" he concluded.
Have you ever noticed that God gave us one mouth and two ears? Do you think there is a reason for that? Maybe God wants us to listen more and to speak less. Have you ever wished you could take something back you said? Words can bring life or words can bring death. Just think of how often we jump to conclusions or pass judgment in a situation. The Bible says, "He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him" (Proverbs 18:13). That means, we should get the facts before we say and do things we could regret. Nevertheless, we hear something and immediately conclude that a person is as guilty as sin—and there is no explanation that can help, even if it is theirs. What you should do is go to that person before you believe the words against them and get the facts from them.

In the old days when you would go to a doctor, he would ask you to stick out your tongue. Then the doctor would pull out his depressor and tell you to say, "Ahhh." Why did doctors do that? Because the tongue can be an indicator of what was going on inside of you. By observing your tongue, a doctor could tell what was wrong with the rest of you. In a sense our tongue or our words are the table of contents to our lives. What we say gives away who or what we really are. That means, if all that comes out of your mouth is negative words, you more than likely have a negative spirit deep inside you. If you are quick to repeat gossip before checking your facts, then you need a heart check.
Maybe its lying that gets you in trouble. Regardless, your words are powerful and can hurt others and your reputation.

In Psalm 141:3, David is saying, "Lord, set a watch over my mouth. I can't stop other people from speaking evil about me, but I will not do the same to them. I will not be guilty of it, Lord. But I need your help. I can't do this in my own strength." David was literally asking the Lord to put a lock on his mouth. What comes out of your mouth is an indicator of what is inside your heart. Don’t be someone who is quick to spread gossip or give into lying. Don’t let anger take hold of your life to where you have to “tell someone off” or speak negatively of someone to get back at them. Follow the lead of David. Pray that the Lord will set a guard over your mouth and keep a watch over the door of your lips. Ask yourself, “Who can I bless today with my words? Who needs to be uplifted and encouraged today with the love of Christ?”

Pray this, “Lord, help me to be a person who chooses words of life. Set a guard over my mouth and cleanse my heart from any evil. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to

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