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!