“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3 NASB).
Our age of social media enables everyone with an opinion to put it out there for everyone to see. We live in an age where people feel they have the right to comment on just about anything. We “open wide” our lips a lot. And, let’s be honest, those of us who claim to follow the Lord can often be the worst culprits.
The Bible has a great deal to say about guarding our mouths and holding our tongues. It describes the person who does so as wise, prudent, and preserving of his or her life. Similarly, it says a lot about the person who opens wide their lips—describing them as a fool, wicked, and one who will come to ruin.
Words are powerful. They can build up. They can tear down. All people, even children, find their identity in the words spoken to them, whether affirming and loving or harsh. James understood the power of words, which is why he described the tongue as “set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6 NASB).
With as much as the Bible has to say about our words, it’s troubling to realize how often the followers of the Lord use their words as weapons against others. We try to wrap such words in a false piety, but the Bible is clear—the one who guards his or her mouth preserves their life.
Too often we separate our life with God from how we treat others. The Bible provides practical instruction for every area of our lives. Following God means that we embrace biblical instruction and live it out in every aspect of our lives, including how and when we speak.
Do you guard your mouth? Or do you open wide your lips? Your answer reflects how well you’ve submitted your life to God’s instruction. Let’s follow Him!
Father, help us to guard our mouths and words. May we speak only life into the lives of others and our world. Amen.