Daily Devotional: Psalms 141:1-5
1 O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. 4 Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. 5 Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness; let him rebuke me--it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
James tells us that if we can control our tongue, we are perfect. At the same time, there is nothing more inconsistent than a person who claims to serve Christ and yet has a foul mouth. Cursing, swearing, gossip and slander are always out of place for the Christian. All of us are made in the likeness of God and therefore we are not to judge harshly or speak badly about each other.
Rather, our lips should be a fountain of blessings. Only that which builds up and encourages others and brings honor to God should ever be spoken. We are to speak the truth in love and never lie. But perhaps the most difficult part of our speech is knowing when to keep silent and just say nothing at all.
As we study the life of Jesus, we see times he rebuked those in the wrong. We see times when he spoke words of encouragement, sympathy and compassion. He spoke the truth, even when it was not politically correct and was “offensive” to those who heard it. But it was never to get his personal revenge or to “tell one off” but it was because it needed to be said to honor God. He also knew when and how to keep silent when that was best. We do well to follow his example.
As we honor God with our lips, we should honor him with our lives also. It is not enough to say we love God or love others if we don’t show it in our actions. Love comes in many forms but always seeks what is best for others – never selfish.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful for your love for me. Thank you for the example of Jesus in so many ways. Help me know, understand and follow his example in my attitude, my speech and my actions. Forgive me when I fail to be just like him in every way. Thank you for this country in which I live. Give your wisdom to the leaders of our government and guide them to enact laws that conform to your will and your morality. Help all of our citizens to seek to live peacefully with each other. Help me love others as you love me. I pray in the name of Jesus.