Posts Tagged ‘Watch your mouth’

Watch your mouth

September 19, 2018

Earlier this week, I announced that my new book is scheduled for release on October 15, 2018. In Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs, I share my holistic strategy to overcome prostate cancer. Part of my approach involves going to the Bible and looking for principles that I can apply to my situation. The Verse of the Day for September 19, 2018 brought to mind Chapter 2 which opens with Ephesians 4:29 in the Message Bible:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2:

Watch your mouth

In my situation, I recognized that I had to become a guardian or watchman of what John Bunyan calls “every gate that opens in our heart.” Howard Morgan speaks of “gates” as “places that we have to monitor diligently so that we allow only that which is positive and healthy into our lives.” Three such gates are the “the ear gate,” “the eye gate,” and “the mouth gate.” The picture of the three wise monkeys came to mind to remind me that I must consciously seek to “watch what I hear, watch what I see, and watch what I say.”

With regard to the mouth as a gate that I had to watch, I had to monitor not only what went into the mouth—what I chose to eat—but what came out of my mouth–what I chose to speak as well. Since “The power of life and death is in the power of the tongue,” I carefully chose the words that I would speak, as this original poem states:

We know the tongue has power to generate life,
To produce seeds that will eventually take root
And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:
Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife
Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.

Throughout the whole process of responding to the diagnosis of prostate cancer, I had to encourage myself to make positive confessions and to speak words of positive affirmation. The Scriptures remind believers to let our words always be seasoned with salt, that they may minister grace to the hearers.

Most amazingly I did not have to look in the mirror to watch my mouth, but then again, I did! I looked into the mirror of the Word of God and made sure that what I said lined up with what the Word of God says. The Book of James speaks of not just being one who hears the Word but also one who does the Word: “a hearer and a doer.” Indeed, my actions speak louder than my words in this instance.

To sum up what I learned about watching in a strategic way, I came across this statement attributed to Frank Outlaw, founder of Bi-Lo Stores. Each line opens with an exhortation to “watch.” What we are to observe closely could we arranged as an acrostic that can be rearranged to spell “W-A-T-C-H”:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Each chapter of Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs concludes with a psalm of remembrance of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the journey continues, I am

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the Word of God where we find
Courage to endure while seeking to watch and wait.
Those who watch and wait are never left behind,
For God has always been faithful and never late.
We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.
Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,
Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.
May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some
But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey
And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.
We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way
And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.
In these perilous times we are yielded and still,
Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

The essence of the importance of “watching your mouth” and guarding the gates of our lives is captured in a simple children’s song that expresses profound truths: “O Be Careful Little Eyes:

Watch your mouth

July 11, 2017

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, today we are going to examine the “Phrase of the Day” for July 11, 2017: “Watch your mouth!” This idiomatic expression means to take into consideration what you say before you speak. It is sometimes used as a warning to become aware of the words that one is about to speak.This expression also brings to mind the often-quoted statement attributed to Frank Outlaw, former President of Bi-Lo Food Stores:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

What Mr. Outlaw encourages individuals to watch could be seen as part of an acrostic in that we are to “Watch our. . . Words-Actions-Thoughts-Character-Habits.”

Regarding watching your mouth, out of which come the words you speak, Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible states:

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it

The Message Bible puts it this way:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

A previous blog entry on Ephesians 4:29 offers these comments:

Throughout the Scriptures believers are exhorted to be mindful of the words they speak. For the words that we speak are expressions of what is in our hearts. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks,” says Solomon. With this in mind, John Bunyan recognizes that individuals must become guardians of “every gate that opens in our heart.” Howard Morgan speaks of “gates” in this way: “They are the places that we have to monitor diligently so that we allow only that which is positive and healthy into our lives.” Three such gates are the “ear gate,” “eye gate,” and “mouth gate.” The picture of the three wise monkeys comes to mind to remind us that we must consciously seek to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.”

We are encouraged not only to watch what goes into the mouth but watch what comes out of the mouth. Paul further reminds us: “Let your words always be seasoned with salt that they may minister grace to the hearers.”

James 1:19 (AMP) has this to say about the matter:

19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

We must be very concerned about the words that we speak since the “power of life and death” is in the tongue. This message is reinforced with this reminder:

The Power of the Tongue

But the tongue can no man tame;
It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison
James 3:8

We know the tongue has power to generate life,
To produce seeds that will eventually take root
And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:
Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife
Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.
With his hand, the helmsman easily turns great ships,
So we covenant to guard the gates of our lips,
For words can heal or pierce the heart as a sharp knife.
We desire life and long to see good all our days,
So we speak the truth and refrain from speaking lies.
Like Jesus, we want our tongue to speak what God says.
We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.
Pressing toward the finish, the coming of God’s kingdom,
We seek not just a word but the spirit of wisdom.

As born-again believers, we are encouraged to make positive confessions and to speak words of positive affirmation regarding ourselves and others. The Phrase of the Day and other related scriptures remind believers that we should be concerned about the words we speak, as we are encouraged to let our words always be seasoned with salt, that they may minister grace to the hearers.

TobyMac expresses our desire that the words that come from our mouths will build up and not tear down, as we “Speak Life”: