“Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips. Don’t let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company.” Psalm 141.3,4
I am probably just like most people who do not know when to shut-up. I am frequently regretting my words even before they pass my lips. I honestly know better, but the moment carries me away! I console myself with warm assurances that I am like most people, good at heart but failing in the details.
Does it really need to be this way? Are we always going to be at the mercy of the moment? Are we required to let life control us?
As I look around at others, I find the answers to be yes, yes, and a big yes! For all our good intentions, our words hurt more often than they soothe. The examples of where our words became Roman spears are too many to count. Even when I try to correct or resolve conflict, my words cause more pain than they need to.
There is a two-fold answer to the dilemma. The first lies in how God dialogues with us. I find it extremely interesting that God starts His conversation with us saying that He unconditionally accepts us as we all the while knowing that we carry flaws right through to our core. God accepts us in love and grace, not once but each time we return. God shapes his words driven by the three actions. The type of guard I would need would be completely different if the same drivers were my motivation.
The second answer lies in how God responds to evil. There is a time for clear accountability, but that job lies with God. Our directive is simple; focus on things that are good, positive, and nurturing. The type of guard I need changes as I let God’s love and grace shape me from the inside.
Control is an interesting thing. Often we guard the backdoor when making the choice at the entry brings real action.