What Does Proverbs 21:23 Mean?

Whoever watches his mouth and tongue keeps himself from trouble.

Proverbs 21:23(ISV)

Verse Thoughts

James tells us that of all the members of our body, the tongue is a like a flame of fire from hell itself, which can cause incredible grief to ourselves and to others. He describes it as a whole world of wickedness, which corrupts our entire body and can set one’s whole life on fire. Peter also tells us that if we want to enjoy life and see many happy days, we must keep our tongue from speaking evil and our lips from telling lies.

King David also recognised the evil that comes through unkind and evil speech and said, I will watch what I do and say - I will set a guard over my tongue and muzzle my mouth so that I do not sin, and Solomon in this verse advises us that: whoever watches his mouth and tongue keeps himself from trouble.

It was the Lord Jesus who explained that the evil words which come out of our mouths, have deep roots in our inner heart: for out of the heart come evil thoughts like murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander.

How important that we should put a guard over our lips and tongue and set our heart to look to the Lord by pouring out our heart to Him and seeking His guidance in all things, so that we walk and talk in spirit and truth. Not only should we guard our mouth and be careful that we speak the truth in love and with grace, but we should also bridle our tongue so that we prevent ourselves from speaking hastily or without due thought or consideration.

Solomon tell us that it is the wise man that follows this instruction to set a guard over our mouth and bridle our tongue and the foolish man that spews out foolish words of folly and destruction – but he also tells us that the fear of the Lord is a fountain head from which all godly wisdom flows. Let us seek to guard our lips and speak words of wisdom and truth, that honour the Father in heaven. If our first priority is to acknowledge Him in all things - He will direct all our ways.

My Prayer

Loving Father, too often I do not guard my lips and bridle my tongue, but I pray that You will help me say and do only those things that are honouring to You, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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