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Choose to be Muzzled

Having recently returned from a writer’s conference I am acutely aware of the power of words – both spoken and written.
As I read this Psalm this morning these words caught my attention.

Psalm 39:1 says:
I said, “I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;
I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle…”

Having recently returned from a writer’s conference I am acutely aware of the power of words – both spoken and written.

I tried to write a post yesterday, but my mind was blank. I couldn’t think of any topic to write about that might interest you, my readers. Since you trust me not to spam your mail with meaningless words, I usually apply the following process. I stop to pray and ask the Lord if He has something for me to say. If I don’t get a response right away, which is usual, I make an attempt to adjust my hearing and heart to listen for what the Lord has to say.

I often think of this quote: “It’s better to remain silent and let people think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Variations of this quote are attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and others.

The Bible puts it this way:

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28. KJ

Before my quiet time this morning I again prayed, asking the Lord if He had anything for me to say. Then I went on to my reading the Bible, praying, and journaling. My guys were at the men and boys’ prayer meeting at our church so I was able to get some extended time with the Lord. This doesn’t happen often, so I took full advantage of it and leisurely read some selections in the Bible that had been speaking to me of late.

That’s when the above verse from Psalm 39 spoke to me. As a writer I want my words to glorify the Lord. As a believer I also want my spoken words to glorify the Lord. As a woman I know how easy it is to say the wrong thing or to say it at the wrong time.

Our enemy likes to use our written and spoken words to damage Christ’s reputation, so it is an area where we need to remain vigilant. When I will be speaking I often ask the Lord to set a guard on my mouth, and then I try to listen carefully to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as I go about my day.

I was impressed by Joni Eareckson Tada’s words after 43 years of being a quadriplegic and recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I want to assure you that I am genuinely content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me even if it is from His left hand because better something from His left hand than no hand at all, right?”

Since her words and actions reach so many people she is very careful about all she says and does. I do think she struggled with acceptance, but she came out stronger and still able to acknowledge that this cancer too is a gift from God.

Most of us don’t talk to the audience that Joni does, but we do talk in many ways to people every day.

Will you join me in praying that the Lord will set a guard over our mouths so we don’t damage His name with our words?

Psalm 141: 2-3a
“Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Finding Joy in the Journey,


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Phyllis Sather
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  • amy in peru
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    I came across the SAME verse a day or two or so! So many times we think we have to fill the silence with words…

    let’s not be like those Pharisees though! 😉

    amy in peru

    • Phyllis
      Posted November 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

      Isn’t our God great? Enjoyed visiting your site. I’ll be back to check out your ministry a bit more. How long have you been there?

  • Stacy
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    Wise words, indeed! I am constantly needing to guard my words. They can get so ugly, especially if I neglected to feed my spirit the Living Word.

    • Phyllis
      Posted November 10, 2010 at 9:33 AM

      I know what you mean Stacy. I think there are so many traps for us as women and we need to pray before we leave the house or make phone calls or even talk with our children. I use little arrow prayers – quick – help me Lord.

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