Can't Trust Yourself? Trust God.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141: 3

Hoping that everyone had a holy and blessed Easter. In today’s text David prays to God to control his mouth. I don’t think David was concerned with what was going into his mouth. There is no evidence that he had a problem keeping the kosher law. His concern was more with what came out of his mouth. David was a praying and a singing man. The many Psalms attributed to him bears witness to this. His mouth was therefore a praying mouth and his lips were praising lips. He is fearful however, realizing how easily prayer can be replaced by personal undertakings and praise by pride. He recognizes that the mouth can easily become defiled with untruth, or pride, or wrath thus he prays that God would protect him from such failings. David seemed to accept the truth that no matter how watchful we are, we are prone to slip ups, so he begs the Lord to guard him against falling into such sins. He knew that if God secured him there would be nothing to worry about. He is the one who had said: “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Psalm 127: 1b. He recognized his limitations even in keeping his speech pure but also knew that he could depend on God’s keeping. David learnt to trust God where he couldn't trust himself.

David advises us how to be pure. “Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Psalm 34: 13. Friends we work hard to guard our lips and mouth from saying bad and hurtful things whether to ourselves or to others. By ourselves we will fail. Words are a powerful tool that we all have at our disposal but which ever so often we use to inflict deep wounds on others. James was cognizant of this unbelievable condition of humankind. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3: 10. God has given us lips as the doorway to our mouths. This is a doorway however that we cannot secure of ourselves thus we need to ask God to open and shut it for us as needed. This is important to our faith. James says: Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (1: 26). Peter echoes this same sentiment in 1 Peter 3: 10. What we say, and how we say what we say, tells others who we are. We have to trust God to guard our lips so we don’t make a mockery of our faith.

As we continue to rejoice in resurrection glory, let us pray for wisdom of speech and patience to weigh our words before speaking, especially in those moments when our patience or mettle is being tested. May we learn to trust the risen Christ to guard our lips and our mouth so that what comes out may give praise and glory to Him alone as we live not for the here and now but in anticipation of His return to earth for us. Trust Him, especially where we know we cannot trust ourselves.

‘Till next Tuesday, be blessed!


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