Psalm 34:12-13 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
One thing that bothers some people is when others ask rhetorical questions. You know what I am talking bout. When people ask a question they already know the answer to. Jesus was really good at this. Several times in scripture we see Him ask a question to someone that he obviously knows the answer to. Although David doesn’t write verse 12 in the form of a question we more or less see it as rhetorical when he says, ‘whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good day.’ Personally I think, who doesn’t love life and getting to experience all that we do. Building relationships and making memories with other people. Growing closer to God in our daily walk. Sounds like a great life to me and who doesn’t want to see many good days. I would think we all want to live as long as we can and spend time with our loved ones.
The sad thing is we see something else happening in our society. Studies released in the spring of 2016 show that 13 out of ever 100,000 people commits suicide in a year. Those numbers break my heart. There are people out there that do not love their life. For whatever reason they have come to the point they believe death is a better alternative than life. Sadly, I would guess that a majority, although I know not all, of those who take there life do not know the Lord as their person savior. When they choose to take their physical life they are also facing spiritual death. As Christians that should break our hearts! Churches and individuals need to see those numbers and problem solve what they can do to possibly stop just one of these horrible events from happening. I have been effected by and seen the damage suicide can do to a family. It is often a silent hurt that families deal with and don’t get the support they need.
Back to Verse 12, David is saying that we want to have a wonderful life and live as long as we can. In verse 13-14 he tells us how we can achieve that kind of life when he says ‘13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.’ There are four sections to what he says so lets jump right in and look at each of them.
First he says that we are to keep our lounge from evil. Whenever I read about the tongue in the bible I am reminded of a quote my dad had written in the back of his bible when I was young. It said, “A tongue six inches long can ruin a man six feet tall.” How true that is. The word “keep” in this verse means to guard or watch over. When I think about guarding over something I think about people who work in a prison. Their only job is to watch the people in the prison and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to and aren’t allowed to escape. Hmmmm, sounds like a good idea when it comes to our tongue too doesn’t it. We have to watch everything we say. We have to make sure that nothing that shouldn’t be said is said and escapes our mouth because all of us know once a word is spoken it can not be taken back!
The tongue and lips work together. I challenge you to cut either one of them off and see what it does to your speech. You will be able to make sounds and possibly put some sounds together for words but your speech would pretty much be worthless. When we allow our tongue to do evil and our lips to lie our speech is worthless for Christ. One of the most powerful things I ever heard was that our words and our actions can impact other for eternity. The things I say can have an everlasting impact on someones life and soul. As christians we need to understand that, someone is always watching and listening. Something we let slip by the guards and come out can have a far reaching impact on someone who may hear them.
Telling lies is something that many people, and kids especially struggle with. I often joke that I could tell when my son Caleb was lying, if he was speaking he was lying. Sadly it seemed like for a period of time this was the case. I tried just about everything I could to break him of is lying. Finally it took a biblical lesson and some pain on my part to do it. I know some of you are thinking of the passage that says if we spare the rod we spoil the child. Well before you call child protection agency on me, Caleb is 22 now and I didn’t spank him. I had him spank me. I know what you are thinking, why in the heck would you do that? Trust me after feeling the sting of a plastic spoon I was wondering the same thing. After he spanked me, and stopped crying, I talked to him about what Jesus did for us. That he had to die for our sin. It was a great talk and bible lesson and his lying really dropped off after that. Warning if you are thinking about trying that, IT HURTS MORE THAN YOU THINK!
It is interesting that David uses a specify sin here when he says we are to keep our lips from telling lies. When we lie we lose our integrity. We are no longer trustworthy. What we say afterwards has little power or meaning. So if we let our lips speak lies we are damaging the witness God has planned for us. We are stealing opportunities that God has to speak through us to those who need to hear His gospel, His love, and His promises. A lie is something we do so fast but something that we can work for years to undo unsuccessfully. Keep your testimony strong and keep your tongue and lips under control, guard them like you would a prisoner.
If you don’t think this passage is important turn to 1 Peter 3:10. Ok turn there anyway even if you know it is important.
Things to Think About
1.) What did you find in 1 Peter 3:10? What does it mean that you found it there?
2.) Do you struggle with your tongue? If so in what ways? If not what do you do to keep it under control?