Devotional: October 16, 2020
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 13: 3 New International Version
“Loose lips sink ships” was a famous saying on a poster from World War II. It reminded those serving that they needed to exercise caution when it came to sharing sensitive wartime information.
Even today, a word carelessly and thoughtlessly spoken can have enormous consequences.
In April of this year, a NASCAR racing team dropped one of their drivers, Kyle Larson, for using a racial slur during an iRacing event. It was just a single word, but it was broadcast to everyone. Every single one of his sponsors dropped their support, so the Chip Ganassi racing team had little choice but to let their driver go.
Kyle issued an apology, posting a video to Twitter and saying,
"Hey I just want to say I'm sorry. Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said. And, there's no excuse for that. I wasn't raised that way. It's just an awful thing to say.”
While many of us would not use a racial slur, this real-life example does point out the necessity of choosing our words very carefully.
Jesus spoke of how our choice of the words we say reveals what is in our hearts.
“What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them."
Matthew 15: 11 New International Version
This theme of destruction by careless words is picked up in the letter of James:
“It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”
James 3: 5-6 The Message
With our contemporary society’s security cameras and cell phones, things are picked up and shared publicly which were never intended for public consumption. This should not change our words and behavior. Yet it can remind us that not only is the world watching and listening constantly, but so is our Lord. May we choose our words carefully, as we seek to honor the Lord, and to love and minister to others…
Loving and holy God,
Our world is filled with words. Some of them are good and uplifting, but many are critical, hurtful, and mean. Help us to choose our words very carefully, and to look to You as our guide. When we are tempted to utter a word carelessly, especially in anger, hold our tongues. Give us pause. Help us to wait for the right time, and the right way, in which to express what we are feeling. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.