Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lord, Help Me Stay Quiet!

Psalm 39:1 (NASB)
I said, “I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle…”

Psalm 39:1 (AMP)
I said, I will take heed and guard my ways, that I may sin not with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth as with a bridle…

“Call me back when you have something better. I expected more from you.”

I got off the phone a little stunned. I could almost feel the scrape across my soul in the pit of my stomach. Sales is a tough profession. And though I receive a lot more complimentary words than critical ones, a critical word always affects me – it’s demoralizing at times. And as this unsettling feeling lingered, I decided again that I don’t want to cause others – especially Bert – to experience similar feelings due to my insensitive comments.

Instead I want to be known – again, especially by Bert – as one who encourages and supports another.

In context, Psalm 39 is referring to holding your tongue in the presence of an enemy. Let’s agree our husbands (or the person we’re in conflict with) are not our enemies – even though we sometimes behave as if they are.

Certainly, there are times when our husbands (or others) push our buttons, and treat us unfairly.  But what if, even then we muzzle our tongues and pray instead.

My immediate prayer would have to be, “Lord, help me stay quiet!” (They say God can do anything, right?) Then, what if my very next prayer would be one for my husband?

After all, what is my purpose as Bert’s wife? Certainly not to change him to my standards.

And how is my character being defined as I yield, or not yield, to God’s grace? Do I yield to Love, or to the enemy’s maliciousness?

Unfortunately for me, many times holding my tongue only lasts a very short while – a few seconds! But, I’m not giving up (and neither is Bert, thankfully) I can see that God is at work within me, and each time I actually yield to God’s grace to hold my tongue, it gives me confidence that I’ll do it again.

What do you think?

• How are you doing with your goal?

• How can we help?


  1. I think that sometimes words of negative criticism can catapult one to new heights if one just turns it around.

    It might be a person has failed at a business and people call him or her a failure. Perhaps the person had not done all they could do to prepare for that business, college courses or working in that business for someone else. Negative words may then catapult them into doing those things and starting a new business that becomes very successful. Those same people who had negative words now might have envy.

    Well, I ramble and know not of what I ramble about.

    Anon in AK

  2. Very true, Anon in AK. I guess it's the tone and motive used that can separate the different results. Don't you think?

    The tone referenced in the opening story was demeaning. And unfortunately, Anon in AK, many times my tone when speaking to others (who disappoint me) is a demeaning one too. But, I'm working on it. Maybe I should add that most of the time, I do speak with grace and love. However, I know I have some work to do in this area. Will you pray for those of us who need help in this area?

    But I do agree, Anon in AK, that there are times when we need to hear a corrective tone to push us in a better direction. Who hasn't benefited from a strict teacher or "demanding" boss.

    Thank you, again, for commenting. You help move the conversation along.

  3. "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps. 19:14 I pray this all the time but honestly, this week has been a huge challenge. It seems that I have taken everything from my husband as an offense and as a result, I have been less than nice back to him. I have cried out to God for His help as He is the only one who can change me. And that's exactly what I need - a "me" change. I like what you said, Sheryl, that it's not our job to change our husbands to our standard. I really need to stop and pray for him immediately when he says hurtful things to me. I noticed that both translations of the Scripture you used, used the word "muzzle"! OK, I heard that Lord! Let's pray for one another that we will not take those hurtful words spoken to us into our hearts. They are not from God and they don't describe us in anyway. I think one of the best ways to overcome this is to pray for that person - pray for God to bless them as He alone knows what they are going through and how He can reach them and heal their hurts. Hurting people hurt people. Lord, bless Sheryl and others reading this with Your healing balm and help us to see others with Your eyes.

  4. Wow! MJ, we're too much alike in two ways: we both have a tendency to react inappropriately with our tongue, and we both know we need God to help us to change.

    I especially like what you said: "And that's exactly what I need - a 'me' change."

    MJ, let's pray that we will become more aware of the spiritual battle that's involved. AND yes! Let's pray, pray, pray for ourselves, each other, and for the ones we're in conflict with. Did you know (maybe it's in the Amplified) that when we pray for our enemies, we're to pray for their happiness and success?

    I have experienced tremendous release and joy when I pray for the person I'm upset with, haven't you? I also LOVED it when you reminded me to pray for our husbands because we don't know what they are going through. Thank you, MJ.

    1. I, too, experience a release when I pray for those I am in conflict with. As I had time to sit quietly before the Lord and read and reflect in meditation on the Lord's Prayer this morning, I was pierced with the words to "forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me". I know I can't expect God to forgive me if I don't forgive those who hurt me. As I did this, a peace flowed through my soul as I let go and asked God to bless those who had hurt me. There is so much freedom when we walk in forgiveness and blessing those who hurt us. I,too, pray that we will become immediately aware that it is a spiritual battle we are in and that we will respond accordingly. I also pray that God will show us the root in us that causes us to respond in a negative reactive way and that God heal those areas so we can bring grace to the hearers of our words. Keep up the good work, Sheryl!

  5. MJ, we have got to meet! That is an excellent idea to ask God to show us the root cause behind our ugly behavior. Thank you, MJ. Pray for me!!

  6. I am learning about God through you and it is very heart warming. Thank you for taking the time to write these! It is much appreciated!!

  7. Anonymous, your words mean so much to me. Thank you. It would also mean a lot to me if you would pray that God will use this blog for those who need it. And let me know how I (and the readers of this blog) can pray for you. Thank you for commenting!


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