He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23
The mouth and the words that come out of it are a matter of great interest to the Lord. He gives much counsel on how our mouths should and should not be used. We would be wise to listen well and do what the Lord says about our mouths.
Here the wisdom of God is to guard your mouth and your tongue. Why? The mouth and tongue are used to form words - and those words can be very dangerous. James chapter 3 tells us that the tongue is a deadly evil full of poison. We are also told by James that the tongue can set the whole course of our life on fire. That, my friends is a dangerous thing. But when you consider this counsel, also consider how many times a stray word spoken by an official - spoken by a commentator - spoken by a sports figure can set their entire life on fire.
I remember the Republican Senate Leader Trent Lott's comments that were considered racist by many in the media. We don't know unless we can enter into Senator Lott's heart whether he is actually a racist or not - but that did not matter. His words were spoken without thinking - and the result was that his entire life was set on fire with controversy. The air waves were filled with shock and horror over what he said - and before things were over - he was forced out of a position he spent years trying to achieve in politics. One quote destroyed an entire career in his case.
That is why Proverbs tells us that the one who "guards" his mouth and tongue - guards his soul from troubles. The word "guard" here is "shamar" and means to watch and keep like a guard or like a person standing guard in a military situation. We are not just to casually look at what might come out of our mouths, we are to stand guard over our mouths - and make sure that nothing comes out of it that will cause us trouble and grief later. This kind of guarding requires us to literally "THINK BEFORE WE SPEAK!" Some people say that we need to just speak what is on our minds - which is a great way to get in serious trouble. We should speak what our minds have processed with wisdom and discretion. That way we guard our soul from troubles. Oh, dear saints of God - listen to this admonition of the wise man and guard your mouth closely. It only takes one little comment to set your life on fire - be wise then and make sure that such words are guarded against at the gate of your mouth - the place where wisdom reigns in your mind!
Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths. Proverbs 7:24-25
After giving a graphic description of the way a man falls into the trap of the harlot, the Holy Spirit gives a conclusion. God begins by having the father call for his sons to listen and pay attention. Here is a huge problem - and one I understand. Most people know the thing they should do - when it comes to adultery and to visiting a prostitute. The problem is not knowing - it is listening when someone is warning them. Therefore people have to be warned in a way that scares you to death.
The first thing that is said to the son is that he does not need to turn aside to her ways in his heart. There is the first problem when it comes to men who get caught up in sexual immorality and adultery. Their hearts are the first thing to go. This manifests itself first in seeing their hearts no longer being given to the Lord. In the third chapter of Revelation Jesus says to the church that they've lost their first love - that love that draws them to the Lord and has them belong to Him more than anything else.
I've seen this before in young people - old people - anyone who finds themselves drawn away to sexual sin. They start when they no longer have that passion for Christ. They turn to someone other than the Lord - looking for satisfaction - for something to fill their emptiness. They find that the Lord is not enough - and that they will actually find what they need in someone else. That is how a man allows himself to "turn his heart" to her ways. When his heart is gone - there is a real serious danger - because at that point he probably won't listen. It isn't too much to say - he can't listen - because his heart controls what his ears will listen to in life.
Once he has strayed in his heart from the Lord - and into her ways - then he begins to stray into her paths. He begins walking without the normal cautions that he would have naturally. But worse than this is the fact that he is walking without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is grieving the Holy Spirit so his warnings are no longer being heeded. This is a very dangerous place to be. When he does stray into her paths - there will not be the protection that he normally has. Thus - it will be that much easier to fall into sin.
Here is why we need to watch and pray for our chidlren - and honestly - ourselves as well. The issue is our hearts. That is what we are told earlier in Proverbs - watch your heart with all diligence - for from it flow the springs of life. This is so important - vitally important. THE most important thing that will keep you from falling into adultery and sexual immorality is to watch and guard your heart!
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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