"Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." Proverbs 13:3 NIV
Back in 1942, during the early days of WWII, the United States was on high alert for potential spies on our soil. The attack on Pearl Harbor had occurred late in the previous year. Out of this came the slogan Loose Lips Might Sink Ships from the US Office of War Information. The idea, of course, was to be vigilant in what was said lest useful information is passed to the enemy.
The wisdom of guarding what comes from our lips is much older, even before today's verse. In Genesis 31:24, God comes to Laban in a dream and warns him to be careful in what he says to his son-in-law Jacob lest it leads to hurt and fracturing of the family. While what we say may not lead to sinking ships or other hostilities, it can lead to misunderstanding and potential harm. Words spoken without thought to their consequences can leave long-term damage and the sinking of relationships and hearts.
Precious and loving God, we give you thanks for the warning to guard our lips. We ask forgiveness for those times we've spoken without thought and those that we hurt. Please create within us clean hearts and pure speech. Remind us that what we say should build up and not tear down; every word should honor you. In your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.