WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 2, 2022
TOPIC: MIND WHAT YOU SAY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23 New King James Version).
One of the wisest pieces of advice anyone can give you is to mind what you say or watch your words. It is a simple counsel but not one that many people heed. But beyond what anyone can counsel you, God has spoken in His Word and you would do well to pay attention to how you use your tongue or mouth.
Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles” (New King James Version). Another translation says, “Guard your words, mind what you say, and you will keep yourself out of trouble” (Voice).
This counsel may be already too late for some people who are currently in trouble because they didn’t mind what they said. But if they learn their lessons, they may start heeding this warning when they are out of their troubles. If your mouth hasn’t put you in trouble, don’t wait until it does before you see the wisdom in the warning God has given you. Mind what you say so that you don’t land yourself in trouble.
Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37 New King James Version). Mind what you say. Avoid speaking carelessly.
Even the police, when they come for arrest, recognize the right of the person under arrest to remain silent. They will usually tell the person, “You have the right to remain silent as anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Anyone under arrest or who is detained has a constitutional right to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his choice. However, ignorantly or for another reason, some people would speak unadvisedly and later deny it.
More important than what the constitution or the law says, the Bible says you should mind what you say. Don’t say what will put you in trouble here on earth or on the Day of Judgment as we have read in Matthew 12:36-37. David said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me” (Psalm 39:1 New King James Version). Do the same thing.
Mind how you use your tongue. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment and say what you shouldn’t say. James 3:5-6 says, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (New King James Version).
Nowadays, communication is done not only by words of mouth. We write with our pens and type messages on our computers and phones. We send such written communication to others. We must mind our words and ensure we don’t send something that will put us in trouble and we will be regretting later. The greatest disservice you can do yourself is to speak or write to someone when you are angry. You will regret it because you won’t be able to erase or reverse what you have said after you have calmed down.
You may ask for and receive forgiveness but the damage has already been done. It would have been better if you didn’t express your anger with the kind of words you used. Your spoken words may not be recorded but what about what you wrote. Some people use some words on the internet only for them to regret it later and apologize. I am told that the internet never forgets!
Mind what you say. James 1:19 says you should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Verse 26 says if anyone claims to be religious but doesn’t control his tongue, he is just fooling himself and his religion is worthless.
Mind what you say. It might affect your reputation but it could also cost you more than that. It has cost some people their marriages and other relationships. Some have lost their jobs and other positions because of their unguarded utterances. The Amalekite in 2 Samuel 1, who claimed to have killed Saul, was also killed. We don’t know if it’s true that he killed Saul or he just wanted to exploit the situation, hoping that David will reward him.
Suppose he had killed Saul, as he claimed, must he come and tell David? David ordered that he should be killed. He said, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’s anointed’” (2 Samuel 1:16 New King James Version). Your mouth won’t kill you in Jesus’ name.
The mouths of Rechab and Baanah, the two brothers who murdered Ishbosheth, Saul’s son who succeeded him, also killed them. They had murdered him and brought his head to David. Must they do that? They must have thought that they were doing David a favour and he would reward them. But they were killed after David gave the command (2 Samuel 4:1-12). “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3 New King James Version).
There are other examples of people in the Bible who suffered from unguarded utterances, including Moses, Shimei, and the men of Succoth and Peniel. Don’t speak carelessly, thoughtlessly, or recklessly. Think before you speak. Avoid speaking or writing in anger. Don’t speak too much. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19 New King James Version). The Living Bible puts it this way: “Don’t talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow!” Understand that whatever you communicate is no longer yours – it’s beyond your control.
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit (Psalm 34:13). Remember the Bible compares the tongue to a fire (James 3:5-6). Don’t let it destroy your life. Don’t use it to destroy other people either. Mind what you say, written or spoken.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to control my tongue or mind what I say. Let me not set my life or the lives of others on fire by what I say or write. With the help f the Holy Spirit, I shall guard my mouth and tongue and, thus, keep my soul from troubles. I pray that all those who are quick-tempered and communicate in anger will repent and save themselves from the negative consequences in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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