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Let The Words of Your Mouth Be Acceptable

Updated on March 7, 2022
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Woman talking on the phone
Woman talking on the phone | Source

Psalm 19:14 is a short prayer that reminds us that God hears every word we speak and know every word that's in the privacy of our hearts.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

What you have just read is a prayer. It is a short prayer. It is so short that we can learn it rather quickly. Would you change your words if you knew they would be judged by God?

David knew that, and that's the reason he prayed for God to approve his words and thoughts. We should pray that same prayer every day. We should ask God to approve our words when . . .

  • we speak when we greet one another.
  • we speak in general conversations.
  • we speak in giving directions.
  • we speak in our discussions with friends and enemies.
  • we speak when we teach.
  • we speak when we preach.
  • we speak in debates.
  • we speak in arguments.
  • we speak in all forms of communications

Words are powerful! Words are so powerful that the entire world was made when God spoke the world into existence. God said, “Let there be light, and there was light." Throughout the first chapter of Genesis, we find these words: “And God said . . . And God said . . . And God said.” “And God said, ‘“Let us make man in our image.”’ Yes, God spoke us into being.

Then God spoke to the prophets and the prophets spoke to the people. Then God spoke to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Today God speaks through the Holy Spirit.

Man screaming on phone
Man screaming on phone | Source

Words Can Hurt

The words we speak not only can heal. The words we speak can also hurt. You have probably heard the childhood rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” That is not so. Words can hurt long after the echo is gone. Written words can hurt long after the ink dries.

Sticks and stones can produce instant injury and pain. Words can produce an even worse and longer-lasting hurt. Words can’t break bones, but they can break hearts. Sticks and stones inflict wounds that usually heal in time, but words can go much deeper and cause pain that lasts a lifetime.

Such unkind words include some of the following:

  • “I hate you.”
  • “You are a failure.”
  • “You’re no good.” “
  • You will never amount to anything.”

Those words do permanent damage; especially, if they are heard over and over again, especially if they are heard from parents and other authority figures.

Some people have been so deeply wounded by unkind words spoken to them by some people that they are unable to accept kind words from others. They fail in relationships. They fail at jobs. They fail at what they could have been doing had they not been cursed by unkind words.

Words Are Like Feathers in the Wind

Once unkind words are out of your mouth, those words cannot be taken back. It is like one going to the top of a tall mountain on a windy day with a pillow made out of feathers. If you ripped that pillow open and the feathers are released, there is absolutely no way you can pick up every feather and put it back into that pillow.

The feathers fly away with the wind, just as the words we speak. It is also like sending an e-mail to 500 subscribers, and just as you watch it go out into cyberspace, you see a mistake. You want to retrieve it, but it is too late to do so because it has gone out of your reach. It is the same as the words we speak. Once the words are out of our mouths, they cannot be taken back.

We ought to pray the prayer that the psalmist prayed.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

If people knew how much damage they do by the words they speak, surely they would stop. James 3:3-12 tells about the danger of using the small tongue in our mouth to do much damage.

First, James compares the tongue to the small bits in the mouths of horses that can turn the whole large animal (James 3:3).

Secondly, James compares the tongue to the small rudder of a large ship that can steer it wherever the pilot wants it to go (James 3:5).

Finally, James compares the tongue to a spark that can start an entire forest fire (James 3:5).

James concludes that the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). He reminds us that "With the same tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness" (James 3:9).


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