Session 19

Bite your tongue

From 1 Samuel: A 6-Week Devotional

Have you ever said something so stupid you wish life had a backspace option?

Parents, have you threatened your children with an “or else” command you knew you couldn’t follow through on? On the flip side, has anyone ever cut you to pieces with a sweeping statement or scathing remark?

Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Our decisions, and especially our words, don’t affect just us.

In 1 Samuel 14:24, Saul commanded the Israelites to eat no food before attacking the Philistines or they would be cursed. Saul was in such haste to win the fight he disregarded the welfare of his troops, forcing them to battle while famished and weak.

The story’s twist is that Saul’s own son, Jonathan, was unaware of the vow and ate honey when he passed through a forest. Ultimately, Saul’s oath risked his son’s life.

Can you imagine how Saul felt when he discovered his son may have to pay with his life for breaking the oath? Or worse, how Jonathan felt knowing he may die over his father’s emotional order?

When faced with challenges we must ultimately ask for God’s guidance.

Our emotions can get the best of us. We are human. When faced with challenges we must ultimately ask for God’s guidance. We may not receive a direct answer immediately, but that does not give us permission to make decisions that impact others based on our own knowledge and assumptions.

Saul did not listen for God’s guidance and made a terrible decision. He was oblivious to the pain he caused to those around him, most notably his son. To avoid facing similar pain, we must examine ourselves and humble our hearts when making decisions and ask for God’s grace to assist us with our words and choices.

Reflect:

  • Have you ever made a hasty decision that hurt not only yourself but also others around you? What could you have done differently to consider the impact of your decision on others?
  • Are there any hurdles in your life you are asking God to step in and overcome? Pray for God to give you wise words and not impulsive remarks.

19 of 41

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

When hope seems unattainable

hope relationships

Hannah was loved by her husband, but her longing was for a child. Hannah kept seeing her prayer being fulfilled for others around her. Wh...

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Session 2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

Tickle Me Elmo, Motorola StarTAC, and Super Nintendo were all must-have items at one point. When we got them, we thought we had everythin...

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Session 3

Miracles are more than moments

Most of us know of a miracle—a friend with breast cancer now cancer free; a quadruple bypass survivor walking 3 miles every day; or...

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Session 4

But God, I don’t want to

A picture recently became popular on Facebook. In it, a little girl is holding a small teddy bear. She is standing across from Jesus, who...

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Session 5

Only God can judge me

How often have you responded to a friend’s rebuke with this phrase: “Only God can judge me”? If we knew what we were a...

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Session 6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

A singular penguin waddles purposefully through the colony. The thousands of seemingly identical birds are easily distinguishable to the ...

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Session 7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Few things are more demoralizing than fighting a losing battle. It’s emotionally exhausting, and for Christians it’s confusin...

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Session 8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Beauty. Health. Success. Money. Power. Love. We may not literally bow to a golden statue, like Dagon, but we put these idols in God&rsquo...

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Session 9

Repentance is more than being sorry

When Jesus began His ministry, the first verb He put in front of His followers was “repent.”  Repentance isn’t ju...

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Session 10

How to walk forward in faith

Fear is a real emotion all of us feel from time to time. No one is perfectly brave at every moment of their lives. Fear can be particular...

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Session 11

Do you blend in?

Samuel was the judge of Israel who led the nation back into the direction of God. When Samuel was ready to retire, the nation demanded a ...

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Session 12

Coincidence? I think not.

Have you ever had something happen that you just couldn't quite explain? Something you chalked up to coincidence. Maybe it’s h...

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Session 13

You can be forever changed

Change is a part of life. Some of us thrive when change happens. For others, change produces anxiety and stress. But no matter how we res...

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Session 14

When what god asks feels impossible

Being named king or queen of something sounds pretty enticing, doesn't it? Perhaps images of fame and glory come to mind when we envi...

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Session 15

Not all anger is sinful

We’ve all been angry. We’ve seen injustice, felt pain when wronged, and wanted to pinch the head off of something. We’v...

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Session 16

It’s not too late to change

“I told you so” moments are no fun if you are on the receiving end. We see one of these moments in 1 Samuel when the Israelit...

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Session 17

When impatience wins

The thing you want is so close you almost believe if you close your eyes and reach out, you can touch it. Or maybe, the thing your heart...

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Session 18

Who can you count on?

In all our relationships, we expect to be able to count on the other person. While we were growing up, we looked to our older siblings or...

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Session 19

Bite your tongue

Have you ever said something so stupid you wish life had a backspace option? Parents, have you threatened your children with an “o...

Read Devotional

Session 20

“But God, what if I did this?”

Have you ever tried to negotiate a better way with God? When we rely on our human understanding, what He asks us to do often leaves us c...

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Session 21

No more excuses

Have you ever said “enough is enough” to someone who kept making excuses?  Samuel had a moment like that with Saul in S...

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Session 22

You can’t unsee this

The Internet drama over “the dress” made people lose their minds. Some saw white and gold. Others saw black and blue. That vi...

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Session 23

I don’t want to be here anymore

“No, you can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want, ...

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Session 24

The long road to an overnight success

David was not an “overnight success.” The unknown shepherd laid the groundwork for his victory against Goliath long before th...

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Session 25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Did you know that you are the owner of a unique tool belt? It might not be an actual tool belt, but God has given each of us a unique set...

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Session 26

The danger of jealousy

At first glance, jealousy may not seem like a major sin in our daily lives. We may get a little jealous of people from time to time, but ...

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Session 27

Why do my motives even matter?

A young man helping an elderly lady cross the street because he wants to ensure her safety has an honorable motive. However, if this same...

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Session 28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

1 Samuel 19 tells of a guy with a serious lifestyle problem. Saul was jealous and not able to control his emotions—to the point of ...

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Session 29

How to choose between competing loyalties

The problem with loyalty is everyone has their own definition of it. So, at some point we will find ourselves in that painful position wh...

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Session 30

How to have joy in hard times

Think back to some of the most stressful or scary moments in your life. How did you react? If you’re like most people, praising God...

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Session 31

I never thought I’d do that

One of our culture’s great weaknesses is not believing in pure evil. We want to think all people are generally good. We shake our h...

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Session 32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Have you ever wanted something so much any opportunity to obtain it seemed like God answering your prayer? Maybe money has been tight, an...

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Session 33

When you want revenge

He is so finished! I’ll give her a piece of my mind! It’s okay, no one will ever know. This tweet will really get’em...

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Session 34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

When we are in crisis mode it’s natural to look to those surrounding us for help. Thankfulness towards our rescuers comes easily du...

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Session 35

When revenge kills

Have you ever been mistreated so badly you actually plotted revenge? In 1 Samuel 25, David found himself in this position. Nabal threw i...

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Session 36

How to prevent regret

Have you ever made a decision you regretted? Maybe it was last minute. Maybe it was a split-second decision. Maybe you experienced the co...

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Session 37

Between a rock and a hard place?

From working at a dead end job to kids that just won’t cooperate, we have all felt stuck. Being stuck is one of the most difficult ...

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Session 38

How to get your next big thing

High school. College. Marriage. Babies. Buying a house. The big promotion with a raise. What is your next big thing? Sometimes, we wonde...

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Session 39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

A plan is a set of actions designed to achieve a goal. While having a plan makes us feel accomplished, sometimes the best thing that can ...

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Session 40

Who to blame when things go wrong

When trouble comes in life, how do you react? Do you look for something or someone to blame? David's men did. Their homes had been at...

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Session 41

Disobedience always has consequences

Whether we are talking about stealing cookies from a cookie jar, shoving all the mess in your room under the bed, cheating on a college f...

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