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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, August 22

To watch over mouth and tongue is to keep out of trouble.
—Proverbs 21:23

We are known not only by our actions, but by our words. When we take action in life, it is often the simple carrying out of what we have spoken with our lips. Yet how often do we analyze trouble in our lives from this perspective?  How often do we look deeply inside to see what words, spoken or unspoken, have preceded a particular action we have taken?

Consider how we might say to ourselves that we are hungry for something sweet.  Then, while getting coffee at the local coffee bar, those words spoken in silence elicit an action on our part.  We buy a piece of chocolate cake that we had not intended to purchase because we feel a need to satisfy our desire for a sweet. Words spoken and words spoken within are the initiator.

The world was spoken into being by God. We were animated through the power of God’s creative word. Everything that occurs in us and in our lives begins with the word. Just as what we tell ourselves and others determines our actions, what we tell God determines the movements of our soul. Imagine how pure our soul might become, what strength our spirit might develop, how free of trouble we might be if we watched the words that were forming in us.

If, instead of blurting out anything that came into our head, we looked at the words and considered what impact they would have on our actions, and what consequences our actions might engender. When we are attentive to the formation of the words within us, we clear a path for the goodness and grace of God.  Instead of trouble, we find our souls are light and free, our hearts are lithe and full, and our minds are nimble and clear.

Gracious God, help me watch the words that form on my tongue with the same energy that I give to speaking them.