Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. – Proverbs 13:3
As we continue on in our examination of the Solomonic writings of wisdom and sage advice on how to live a godly life, we take note of this particular passage above. The Holy Spirit, being the all-knowing God He is, knew from time immemorial that people, who watch what they say, would usually stay out of trouble, at least based on one’s behavior and speech. On the other hand, those, who continually run their mouths, generally will end up in trouble!
Most of us living are familiar with the modern rendition of this proverb – “Loose lips sink ships.” This slogan actually originated “during WWII as part of the US Office of War Information’s attempt to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to enemy spies.” (Follow this link for reference – http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/237250.html)
Just as the US government used the modern slogan to prevent valuable information from reaching enemy hands and thus possibly defeating its armed forces, our biblical proverb helps us in a very similar manner. God intends for us to watch what we say in order to honor and respect our fellow humans and thereby keeping us out of trouble (or ruin as the NIV puts it).
More importantly, watching our words keeps us from giving our enemy, Satan, ammunition to use against us spiritually. When we sin in word or deed, we create a buffer zone between us and God and allow Satan LEGAL access to our lives. The very word satan means adversary while devil means the accuser. If we sin in word, the devil and satan can go before God and level a case against us, legally, until we confess that sin to God, who then forgives us and remembers that sin no more.
Words do have power. It was through the spoken Word that God created the entire universe. It was through quoting the written Word that Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations in the wilderness. Knowing when and where and how to use the Word aids us in preserving our lives and not come to ruin. If we confess things, positive or negative, we will live with the consequences of our actions. Remember that once a word is spoken, it can never be retrieved.
Therefore, watch what you say! It may just physically and/or spiritually save a life, yours or someone else.
Father, help me to watch my mouth and guard my lips. I don’t want to come to ruin because of pride and flying off the handle. You taught me to fill my words with grace and season them as if with salt. You also said, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” I want to be like Jesus and SAY and DO only what He heard You tell Him. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.