Tag Archives: guard mouth

Boiled Over

I love to cook; however, I still have the occasional mishaps like when items boil over. When something boils over on the stove, it makes such a mess. It is horrible to clean up, and often there is still some remnant of evidence left behind of the disaster even after trying to clean up.

Today’s passage speaks of this life motto to live by, and it’s great. Guard your ways. Speak only what is right. Muzzle your mouth. Remain silent. This is all important. The Bible tells us that our words have power—life and death in fact. So, we need to be mindful of our words. And yet, we often try to hold our tongue and our thoughts fester, and we begin the spew things out of our mouth. We boil over. It is as if we become dragons and we then breathe fire over everything. Such destruction. 

This boiling over lifestyle is not fruitful nor glorifying. The Psalmist here is asking for God to remind him of life’s limits, of the short time span we have here in this life. In focusing on the brevity of life, we are reminded that life here is temporary and all that we are struggling with is for a brief moment. As well, our focus is then an eternal focus. We are reminded to live this life motto out, and to seek God to help us each day so that we do not boil over. We ask Him to help us fix our thoughts. We ask Him to help us with our patience. Time is brief, and what we want to boil over is love—overflowing, overwhelming love.

“Here’s my life motto, the truth I live by: I will guard my ways for all my days. I will speak only what is right, guarding what I speak. Like a watchman guards against an attack of the enemy, I’ll guard and muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around me. I will remain silent and will not grumble or speak out of my disappointment. But the longer I’m silent the more my pain grows worse! My heart burned with a fire within me, and my thoughts eventually boiled over until they finally came rolling out of my mouth. ‘Lord, help me to know how fleeting my time on earth is. Help me to know how limited is my life and that I’m only here but for a moment more.’” – Psalm 39:1-4 [TPT]

Saying Nothing

In King Lear, William Shakespeare wrote, “No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing.” I have considered my personal experience and the challenge to “say nothing.” We don’t like to not say a word. When someone comes up to us and says something that differs from what we think, we like to share what we think. When someone does something that goes against what we hold dear, we like to bring it to their attention. When words are said against us, we want to speak up and defend ourselves. We want to speak our mind or as we say, “Share our side.” When we see injustice or are on the receiving end of injustice, we feel the need to say something. When someone passes us while driving or accidentally bumps us with their shopping card, we might desire to open our mouths.

Proverbs 21:23 says, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble” (NLT). Is it really that easy? To say nothing, we certainly must have the patience Shakespeare noted. We also must be confidently founded in Christ. We must be humble and not care what others like, but be focused on God.

It is not always best to be silent. There are some situations when we should be speaking up. But when we find ourselves in a situation where speaking is not going to be beneficial, we need to ask ourselves if it is good for the Kingdom? Will what we have to say represent God in the way He should be represented? Is this about Him or us? It is important to look at our motives for speaking up.

Let us pray like the Psalmist, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” (141:3 NIV). May our mouths glorify our Father with the words we speak.