Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. – Proverbs 4v24
‘Me and my big mouth!’ How often have I thought or said those words? How many times have I said something and immediately wished I could take it back?
There is no wonder that the Bible addresses our speech so often. Job talks about setting a guard on his lips. James extensively addresses the danger and uncontrollable nature of the tongue. When describing how believers should live in Ephesians Paul reminds us that filthiness and foolish taking and course jesting are not suitable for the believer. We are told that our speech must always be graciousness and seasoned with salt.
If our heart is the keep of the castle, the mouth is one of the gates. As the residents of the keep control the forces at the gate, our heart is going to control what comes out of our mouths.
When there is deceit and perversion in our hearts it will come out of our mouths. As we guard our hearts we also need to guard our lips. We must put away the kind of speech that is going to damage us and hurt the name of our Saviour. The ESV translates this ‘Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.’
Our speech must be pure, open, and honest. There is no room for tricky words. Our words are never to be twisted or contrived in such a way that we are not open and forthright.
If we don’t learn to guard the words coming out of our mouths we are destined for trouble. There is a bit of good old-fashioned advice that fits here – ‘If you can’t say something good, don’t say nothing at all.’