Psalms 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
We need the help of God to guard and watch over our mouth. There are seven sicknesses of the tongue that desperately needed healing:
1. Excessive Talking
Proverbs 10:19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
If you talk too much, you bound to make mistake and say something wrong.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
How much is too much? How do I know whether I have the sickness of excessive talking?
Ask yourself two questions:
First, do you have something to say or do you have to say something?
Second, do you talk more than you listen?
When you are talking, you are not listening. When you are not listening, you are not learning. When you are not learning, you become a fool!
Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.
2. Idle and Careless Words
Matthew 12:34-37 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Careless words are thoughtless and insincere words.
Too often we say what we don't mean and don't mean what we say.
We say hurtful words like, "I wish you were never born," "Why don't you go and die," even though we don't mean it.
On the other hand, we say nice things like, "I will pray for you," "I will help you," but we don't mean it either.
One day we will have to give an account for every word we have spoken. God will judge us by our own words.
Matthew 5:37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil."
In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say.
If you say it, mean it. If you don't mean it, don't say it.
3. Lying and Falsehood
Proverbs 12:22 The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.
God hates lies!
Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
4. Gossips and Slanders
To gossip is to speak about others behind their back, typically involving details that are not true or unconfirmed.
When you gossip about others, you are slandering or tearing down their reputation.
Gossip and slander bring about suspicion, misunderstanding, quarrel. They destroy friendship.
Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Oftentimes, gossips and slanders contain half-truth, which make them more convincing.
But half-truths are not truth, they are still lies. And remember, God hates lies!
What is the best way to stop a gossip?
Don't listen to it!
Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.
5. Critical and Judgmental Words
Do you find yourself constantly talking about others, saying that they are wrong, they are no good, etc.?
Matthew 7:1-2 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
A Christian can judge and must judge the sinfulness of an act: Sin is sin, wrong means wrong.
But there are 5 principles to adhere to:
First, the standard must be based on the Word of God, and not our personal view.
Second, don't make superficial judgment, make sure it is fully investigated and you have all the facts.
Third, we are not God, and we cannot judge the heart and motive of a person.
Fourth, we should not condemn the person. Judge the sin, not the sinner. Give grace, show mercy, seek to restore and not to condemn.
Fifth, make sure we are not committing the same sin while we are judging others.
Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intention.
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
6. Grumbling and Complaining
Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing.
James 5:9 Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Stop complaining about the problem, start contributing the solution.
Stop complaining about what you don't like, start listening to what other people like.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
7. Negative Words
Negative words are words of unbelief. They act like curses and self-fulfilling prophecies.
Numbers 13:27-28 They gave Moses this account: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there."
The fatal "but" negates and destroys faith in the promises of God.
Numbers 13:30-32 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.
The positive voice of faith says, "Yes, we can!" The negative voice of unbelief says, "No, we can't!"
True to their own words, they ate the fruit of their tongue accordingly. Caleb entered the Promised Land while the doubters died in the wilderness!
Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the problems you are in are created by your own mouth?
You have been creating the wrong kind of future by your negative words.
You have been your own worst enemy!
Time to heal your tongue and use it to speak words of life and blessing.