keep watch and guard my words



Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me. Give ear to my voice when I cry to You

Let my prayer be set forth as incense before you, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth,; keep watch at the door of my lips.

~ Psalm 141:1-3


Have you ever found yourself in the situation where the ‘that thing’ which really bothers you sort of shows up within yourself?

Or perhaps, the difficult area that you earnestly attempt to keep from showing up, sort of slips past the barrier and shocks you with your own misguidance and humanity?

Last week’s challenge to live out grace for one another was not lost on my heart this week as I was reminded just how much I need grace myself.

I am consistently talking to my children about that filter they need to turn on when they are speaking to others. {Do you know which one I am talking about?}

My teenagers, well intentioned as they ever can be, often miss the social cues and let a few tactless comments flow from their lips without realizing that their words were barbs in the soul of the pilgrim walking with them.  Of course, sometimes it is unintended and the mistake is purely that…a mistake. And other times, well, let’s just say they know what they are doing and how it makes the other person feel.  Those are the times when my grace-o-meter tends to waver in the red and my heart pumps a bit faster.  It is such a good thing that God is the author and finisher of grace’s pen, friends, because He can read our hearts and He can administer justly the proper dosage of grace and discipline.

As a momma, I want to teach them, train them, and mold them into people who put others first by following Deuteronomy 6:5 , Love God first with all your heart and soul and mind, and Matthew 7:12, treat others as you would be treated. Surely, it is not fun to be on the opposite end of harsh, unkind, or misdirected words. Right?

I feel a  little like the rich young ruler, though, as I confess that I try diligently to follow all those ‘to-do’s’ but am still holding something back. Not money, things, or material goods but something even deeper; that something that has set itself in my heart and will take a bit of heart surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.

The cold hard truth is that I have a desire to control things in many situations and when they don’t go my way I can behave quite unlike Christ.

It makes me that bossy momma rather than the kind gentle teacher my kids deserve.  It makes me the problem fixer rather than the friend who commits to praying and seeking first the wisdom of the Father rather than the wisdom of man.  It makes me the one who doesn’t listen close enough to the voice on the other side of the table rather than just skimming the conversation and checking in and out  as my attention is enticed with the various needs nearby.

There is no excuse for it, though, because it creates a void where God is not included and my actions are purely self-absorbed.

Now, I feel the need rise up to defend myself (can you say control-freak) and  say that I am ever so diligent to make my words those which can be repeated when you and I are done visiting. I have taught my children that it is necessary to honor God with our thoughts, words, and deeds bringing Him glory with our actions and our conversations. ( 1 Cor 10:31) Sometimes when the emotion floods the moment, I forget that I need to decrease so that He can increase. It is in our weaknesses that He is strong, right. Well, sometimes in my weakness, my need to control turns into a moment of regret and I need the gracious gift of forgiveness.

  • Sometimes words fly when you are already battling the hard day and it feels you are losing the fight. (Though here is where we have forgotten the precious truth that the victory has already been completed in Christ.)
  • Sometimes the  safety of that comfortable heart allows a little too much of our humanity to flow because we know we can release and somehow it will still be ok.

Graciousness, a byproduct of a forgiving heart, soothes the rough edges our cracks create as we burst in the kiln life’s oven turns up.

In haste, words spill and you don’t realize the inhospitable lack-of-grace you have owned.  It is painful, actually. It is disappointing. Then the Holy Spirit gently, and sometimes not so gently, nudges your heart and reminds you of the offense. In that moment, your heart breaks, and you know that you need to right the wrong. Doing otherwise will cause you much more misery than the trudging to the door of forgiveness. Don’t hesitate to seek the mercy that has already been offered or find the open door forgiveness creates; healing starts with that first step.

 We need to attend to the business of righting our words and seeking forgiveness for our deeds, dear hearts. We need to be intentional about bearing witness to this love-walk that should bathe our every action with the cloak of grace.

When forgiveness is sought, the wrong is set aright; and there is an awareness that we all need to feed upon: our need to seek grace is just as important as the necessity to give it. We are just as apt to stumble in our righteousness as those we are seeking to set an example for. He allows our clumsy attempt to live in grace to remind us that apart from Him it is impossible.

I was reminded how very much I need to remember the filter in all my dealings, even if they are safe and comfortable, because I am representing Christ.  Every conversation should be held in check so that in the reflecting there is no room for regret to take root. Each syllable should be coated with a dose of winsome wisdom, and when we falter we need to be quick to make amends.

The challenge this week, friends, is to remember to keep that guard before us in our thoughts, words, and deeds. To embrace forgiveness, both the seeking and the giving, so that He would be glorified.   My heart is blessed with the reminder to season my speech with salty sweet words.(Col 4:6)

I am thankful for the moments that forgiveness creates, also.  It is a time where He reigns because we imitate His heart toward one another. So many times a day I find myself asking Him to forgive my sin-soaked heart for something. When we are extensions of His love to others in this act of bestowing mercy, we are the ones who obtain that precious gem and earn the name of MERCIFUL ourselves.

Praying for the Lord to set a guard at the door of your lips so that you will bring Him an offering of praise and thanksgiving! He has shown us what is goodto do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8 Join me in the mercy walk this week.


In Him,

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Linking up with friends who love walking that mercy road as well:

The SDG Gathering, Make a Difference Monday, Coffee for your Heart, #TellHisStory, Three Word Wednesday, Words of Life Wednesday,  Soul Survival, Word Filled Wednesday. Winsome Wednesday, Wednesday’s Prayer Girls,Thought Provoking Thursdays,  Fellowship  Fridays, Faith Filled Friday, Saturday Soiree Party, Counting My Blessings