In 20 years of marriage my husband has refined a way to stop my tongue from wagging. When I’m talking foolishly he quietly reaches under the table and gently pushes one finger on my leg. It works. I shut up.
But inside my knee-jerk response is, “Hey! Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t say?” I’ll be honest - I feel defensive at first. But after a minute I step back in my mind and consider what I was saying to people, the thoughtless words coming out of my mouth. I’m thankful he loves me enough to help me stop the flow of stupidness.
In Psalm 12 David is exasperated by the people around him who do nothing but brag about themselves and lie to the people close to them. In verse 4, these people say, “We own our lips –who is our master?”
Who owns the pink slip on my lips? Does anyone have the right to press a “be quiet” finger onto my skin? Can’t I say what I want?
In Psalm 12:6 David says, “The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”
God’s lips. Flawless… refined.
We need to sign over the papers. Words under new ownership, controlled by the Flawless One who can inject every word we say with truth and life and goodness.
Lips that never need to apologize. Lips that never lie. Lips that always have the right word to say to just the right person in just the right moment. Lips that offer a Band-Aid instead of a knife wound. Lips people want to kiss instead of slap. Lips that add a solid brick instead of a wrecking crane to the construction of who someone is.
Let us say together, “We do not own our lips –God is our master.”