November 9, 2020

Keeping Your Mouth Shut


Speaker: Darlene Sala | Series: Encouraging Words | Sue Augustine writes, “I had to chuckle when I read what Elisabeth Elliot said about our words: ‘Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut!'”

Then Sue continues,

Over the years, I have learned to pray, “Lord, walk beside me with one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth!” On days when my emotions threaten to rage out of control, my family members often overhear my hollering. “Oh, Lord—please shut my mouth before I say what’s on my mind!”[1]

Can you relate? James, who wrote the book in the Bible that bears his name, observed, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check” (James 3:2). I have yet to meet that perfect person who never says something she shouldn’t.

Now, it’s one thing to know you ought to control what you say, and it’s quite another to do it. Sometimes the words seem to come out of your mouth almost before you realize what you’re saying.

That’s why we need Holy Spirit control in our lives. I’ve heard sermons on the fruit of the Holy Spirit where the preacher gave instructions for producing each of the nine qualities listed in Galatians 5—as if they were separate “fruits” that we could grow in our lives.  But I believe they are nine descriptions of one work that God’s Spirit will do in our lives if we turn over our lives to Him. The last aspect listed is self-control. It seems that controlling what you say is the “last to go.”  As James says, “No man can tame the tongue” (3:8)—only God can.

Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Ask God’s Spirit to be in charge of all of your life.  It’s really the only way to control what you say.

[1] Sue Augustine, When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005), 143