My Second Mouth by Jonathan Fox
Have you ever had a moment where you said something and thought, "I wish I would have never said that." or even "I would love to do that conversation over again." All of us have had moments where we said something we should not have said, over talked an issue or regretted some of our words. In golf there is a saying, "Your second golfer is always better." The point being that after you take your first shot you can gage more adequately how the shot could have been played better and possibly improved your game. We don't always get a second golfer or in our case a second mouth. A chance to redo our words or conversations. But we can learn and practice a new way to speak and communicate. Over the next 7 days we are going to see many scriptures that give us insight into speaking less and speaking better. These two concepts can help us cultivate better talking patterns and rhythms so that we can have our second mouth become our first.
Luke 6:45 - The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
This is a great verse for us to start with because it ties our mouth to our heart. If you want to speak better and less then you need to know that your words are directed and fueled by what is going on inside of you. The way you talk is just an outlet for your heart. So the idea for today is not necessarily how do we change our words but how do we change our heart? Look at the last few conversations you have had, or the last time you lost your cool and said something you wish you hadn't. Where do you think that stuff came from? Be honest about where your heart may be and invite God to begin shaping your words by changing your heart.
Second Mouth Prayer: God show me where my mouth and heart are linked and help me to allow you to change whatever needs to be changed.
Psalms 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight,
The prayer of the Psalmist here is for acceptable thoughts and words. The word acceptable in this scripture could also be translated as delight. Does God delight in what we think about and what we talk about? Our words, as we found out yesterday, are connected to our heart. In this scripture the Psalmist also uses the word meditation (meditation of my heart) which can be translated as resounding music, or for our purposes, a broken record. It's something that is playing over and over and over again in your thoughts. No wonder there are times that we say things that are not a delight to God or others. If we have the broken record of wounds, unforgiveness, bitterness, unresolved tensions and conflict, our words will reflect that.
Second Mouth Prayer: God help me with the broken records in my heart and mind. Those things that are replaying over and again that change how I talk and communicate with others. I pray that my thoughts and words can become a delight to you and those around me.
Proverbs 10:19 - When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Talking too much can get us into trouble. It seems that for many, including myself, over-talking is a way of life. (I am working on it, I swear) This can be out of a need to feel involved, a sense of affirmation-seeking, or just a really bad habit. In any case, this Proverb gives us insight on how over-talking makes room for sin. The key here is the word "many". Talking is fine but with everything we need moderation. The solution is given in the end of the Proverb, restraint. Less words gives less opportunity to say something we should not or make room for someone else too. Take time today to evaluate your conversations, this includes texts, posts on social media and emails, and see if you may be in need of restraint.
Second Mouth Prayer: God teach me how to restrain my words. I want to be a benefit to others as I speak. I want to know that I don't have to always share or voice my opinions but can trust you even in silence and restraint.
Psalms 141:3 - Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Wouldn't it be great to have someone standing beside you right before you were about to talk and then they gave you the "ok" to speak. I probably would not always have the taste of foot in my mouth if this was the case. Just think, someone that could make sure you say the right thing at the right time or helped you restrain your words and maintain silence when you might be tempted to say something that is not helpful or beneficial. In the Old Testament this guard would be our own strength and virtue, which by the way is always limited and flawed. But, in the New Testament that guard is the Holy Spirit. The same spirit that lived in Christ now lives in us. Jesus never said anything he was not supposed to, at times he remained silent, and in others, he spoke boldly and with precision. We can have that same way of speaking through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Second Mouth Prayer: Thank you Holy Spirit for being the guard of my lips. I ask you to give me wisdom and the sensitivity to follow your lead as I speak so that my words reflect those of Jesus and not myself.
Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
"As it fits the occasion". Let's focus in on that statement. Think about certain seasons or even holidays. You wouldn't dress up in winter clothes during the summer or wear a Halloween costume to a Christmas party. Our words, similarly, fit in certain occasions. When we are talking to others there are moments where certain words fit and others do not. The goal is the last part of this scripture, "that it may give grace to those who hear." The word grace in this scripture means gift. How awesome is it to know that when we use the words that "fit" in the occasion it is like giving people a gift. Do you notice the moments where you have words that fit the conversations you are having?
Second Mouth Prayer: God, I want my words to be a gift to those around me. Help me to know and speak words that fit into the conversations I am a part of so that they benefit those who hear them.
Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue...
It would be a wild reality if this scripture were literal, would it not?! I mean, the power of LIFE and DEATH. However, I believe the wording means more of the "feel" of a situation or life circumstance. When we speak our words have this invisible weight to them. Think about it. When someone speaks to you in a harsh or rude way, it can have a feeling of death to it. If someone speaks to you in a uplifting, encouraging way it brings the feeling of life. This reality should help us realize that when we speak we can help create momentum towards the feeling of death and life. This could change someone's day, their friendships, how they handle a situation or even how they see God. Always endeavor to be a person who brings life to the table by how they speak.
Second Mouth Prayer: God you are the one who has the words of life. You know how to bring life into any situation and I want to represent you in the same way. Help me to be someone whose words bring life and not death.
Matthew 12:36 - But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
This could seem scary. But I like to use the word sobering instead. This scripture helps us see the very real value of our words. It also brings up an idea on how a word can be full or empty. Empty words are words that have no meaning and are useless. Full words are words that have meaning and are useful. Have you spoken any empty words? I have. But that doesn't have to stay that way. You can being speaking FULL WORDS and you can ask God to redeem (bring value back to) those empty words. If you see that you have a tendency to speak these empty words then begin the process of learning to be silent. As the old saying goes, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." Slowly God can change the way you speak so that your words are full. Full of love, grace and wisdom.
Second Mouth Prayer: Jesus, today I ask for FULL WORDS. I repent from any empty words that I have said and ask you to redeem them. Help me to learn silence as I am refining the words I use and the attitudes behind them.