Good Censorship

Michael Beck

“If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.” (Proverbs 30:32,33)

Self-censorship is a good thing when we make the wise decision to not voice idle words. If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. David prayed, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Ps. 141:3) He knew that acceptable words began with an acceptable meditation of the heart. (Ps. 19:14) He prayed because he knew he needed help, deep within his being, from emotions and thoughts which could overwhelm him and have him hastily speaking.

Most people want God to get someone else to do or not do something. The prayers that God always answers are the prayers we make for ourselves: asking God to propel us down a right path, and prevent us from proceeding down an evil one. It is altogether wise and good to pray: “Please Lord, help me to shut my mouth when what I think to say is unwise, unkind, or unnecessary!”

Oh how much more peace there would be between us if “fire” didn’t exit our lips. The tongue is an “unruly evil” when we are not letting the Holy Spirit tame it. Our pursuit of peace with all men depends on how well we bridle our tongue.

Don’t be afraid of the world’s censorship for being “politically incorrect.” Learn to let God censor you when what you think to say is spiritually incorrect according to His standards.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.