Psalm 39:1-13 The tongue is a mighty weapon that can be used for good or for evil. When I was in Mexico teaching some young children, I asked them if they would like to disarm the devil. They all shouted, “Yes, we hate the devil.” Then I instructed them to stick out their tongues. They followed those instructions. Then I gave them an instruction they could not follow. “Now,” I said, “pull out your tongue.” Laughter broke out as some of them did yank on their tongues. Of course, we cannot pull our tongues out, but if we could, we would disarm the devil.
One of the most powerful weapons Satan has is our tongue. The mouth can be compared to the barrel of a gun, and the trigger is the tongue. The bullets are the words we speak. Satan wants us to pull the trigger of our tongues to shoot harmful words to others and to ourselves. Unfortunately, Satan is all too successful in using this weapon; when we receive his bullets (the thoughts he sends us), we often pull the trigger of our tongues and start firing.
David knew this when he wrote this psalm. He said, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me” (Ps. 39:1, KJV). David knew that if he came against his enemies with his tongue, he risked having his words backfire. If he judged, criticized or cursed his enemies, he was cooperating with Satan; others would be hurt, and he also would be hurt. The truth is, when we speak evil of any man, we are doing Satan’s dirty work for him.
Over the years my husband and I have received a few letters that had harsh words written against one or both of us. Usually the writer of these letters would say something like this, “I am writing this in love to share with you in a constructive way some things you need to know about yourselves.” Then as we read the letter, somewhere along the way was the phrase, “I am so angry for what you did.” Even if some of what the letter shared was the truth, in most cases the Holy Spirit had already convicted us of these things. Words do not have to be spoken to harm people. They also can be written. We would be wise not to give people a piece of our minds when we speak or write, because when we do, we lose a piece of our own minds. Our own minds are affected by the anger, and we have strife in our minds that eventually can cause a lot of confusion and open the door to other evil work in our own lives. We experience backfire.
Daily I pray to the Lord, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” Would you like to join me in this prayer this morning?
Lord, forgive me for the times I have cooperated with Satan and used the trigger of my tongue to harm others. Help me not to speak in haste.
READ: Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; Proverbs 10:10