Words have power and yet we so often use them carelessly. When emotions rise, harsh words fly out of our mouths unchecked. Afterwards we look back and wonder why we let the situation get under our skin and we question why we said the things we did. We regret how our words hurt those around us and pray that they do not leave scars. We may lie awake replaying the situation, wishing to turn back time and answer thoughtfully rather than defensively.
A more productive approach than mentally kicking yourself is to repent of bad behavior and experience God’s forgiveness. We confess that, when we take charge of our tongues, we mess things up. We need God to take charge of our words. We find forgiveness in Christ when we unburden our heart and repent of our behavior. Forgiveness does not undo the pain that we caused, so we seek to avoid stepping into bad behavior in the first place--but how can we do that? The truth is we can’t, only God can. The psalmist gives us a beautiful prayer asking God to be the guardian of our words.
Psalm 19:14 encourages us: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
These words of the Psalmist are a prayer for God to take charge of our speech and fashion our words in a way that would be pleasing to his name. This can only happen when we put aside our selfish desires and let God reign over our tongues. It is an acknowledgement that God is our Savior who rescues us and also the Lord for whom we are called to live in obedience. We plead along with the psalmist that God would claim lordship and rule over every area of our life including our tongue. Keep us from hurting those we love with our actions or our words. We ask the Holy Spirit to equip us to place those sinful habits behind us and move forward bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Make our hearts so full of you Lord that our words overflow with grace!
Lord, may our words flow from a heart that seeks your will. Make our words gracious so that we don’t cause pain to those around us. Let your Spirit work in us and produce fruit that overflows with grace to those around us. In Jesus Name, amen.