Verse that stood out this morning:
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.” [Proverbs 21:23]
It might not surprise anyone who knows me that I like to communicate. I like to write and involve myself in a good many varieties of self-expression. Some people are blessed by this. Others are annoyed.
I remember when I was young, after some of the sharp things I had said at home, having my mother predict that sometime in life I’m going to get into trouble for the things I say. Later in life, I would sometimes pompously say on stage that, not only did I not get into trouble, but I’m actually get paid for it.
But that is not the whole story. I can name numerous occasions when my words have really hurt others. A physically passive man by nature, I prefer to fight with words, and the things I sometimes say or barely hold at bay have the power to greatly discourage the people around me who I am commanded to love and encourage.
I do not necessarily feel like the solution is to speak or write less, for I believe God made me to be expressive for a reason. That reason, however, should be for His glory and not my own. The constant temptation and transgression is for me to exalt myself with my words and to seek affirmation by commanding the attention of others.
But God has made it clear that He will share His glory with nobody or nothing else. The solution, therefore, is to use the way He made me to bring glory to him. In everything spoken or withheld, I am to love God and others who are created in His image.
This remains a lifelong process of success and failure for me and I am thankful for the reminders in Scripture of the importance of restraining my words.