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Session 8

Why it’s important to watch your tongue

Read: Psalm 141:1-10, Proverbs 16:23-24

Every word we speak matters. Our words can pour love, joy, comfort, and clarity into the lives of the people around us. Or, they can rip those same people to the core of their being. It’s up to us to carefully consider the words we speak. 

Proverbs says wise people "make their mouths prudent." In other words, they slow down enough to think about how their words will be received and what effect their words might have on the other person's future. Like the psalmist, wise people don't always say what's on their minds, but instead pause to ask: "God, what would you have me say?"

Asking God to set a guard over our mouths is more than a prayer for self-control when we're angry. It's a plea for self-control in everything we say. 

How many of us have chosen careers, bought houses, or broken off relationships based on others' advice? The empty praise that flows when we're too busy to think can be just as damaging as the spiteful comebacks that rise up in a fight. The polite compliment in mixed company can have an effect as lasting as the sarcastic comment made among friends. 

Our words are valuable and powerful. When we ask God to guard our mouths, we're acknowledging the importance of saying what we mean and meaning what we say.  Just as we don't want to be lured by others' sweet talk, we want to take care to guard others against our own careless words. 


  • When are you most inclined to speak carelessly? What can you do to make it easier to slow down and ask God for help choosing your words wisely?
  • Can you remember a time when someone's words changed the course of your life? Have you ever told that person what their words meant to you?
  • What's one way you can exercise more self-control in your words today?

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