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You have probably heard it said, “Think before you speak,” and also “silence is golden.” These are very meaningful expressions because many times we seem to either “lose it” or “blow up” when we become angry, frustrated, or irritated. In his prayer for godliness, King David asked God, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3). David seemed to have been in some distress as in his prayer he asked God, “Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds” (Psalm 141:4).

We use our mouths to pray and praise God. How then can we defile our mouths by letting harsh and wrathful words fly out? This will certainly occur if our mouths are not carefully controlled. Perhaps David realized that no matter how he tries, it is absolutely beyond his human capability to fully control his mouth. Many of us can relate to David’s feeling. Therefore, David rightly seeks God’s intervention to “set a guard over his mouth and keep watch over the door of his lips.” God is our “door keeper.” His help is only a prayer away.

Essentially, it is absolutely right to think before we speak and prayerfully seek God’s help to guard the door of our lips. This would place our entire being under God’s sovereign control. “God has made our lips the door of the mouth, but we cannot keep that door of ourselves, therefore do we entreat the Lord to take the rule of it. O that the Lord would both open and shut our lips, for we can do neither the one nor the other aright if left to ourselves” (Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David). Spurgeon is absolutely right. The Lord must be in control of the “open mouth” when we speak and what we say. On the other hand, He must be allowed to shut our mouths before we say the wrong words.

It takes only a single word which may have been innocently misspoken to ruin friendships, relationships, reputation that can cause a lifetime of pain and grief. Not surprising that James writes about the power of the tongue. He says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the wh