“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Ps 140/141:3) “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (Ps 50/51:15)

It is interesting to contemplate these two psalm-verses alongside each other. One of them asks the Lord to “guard” my mouth, while the other asks Him to “open” it. Of course, when the Psalms were first composed, well over two thousand years ago, the spoken word was the only kind most people used. Back then, most people did not have the resources to employ the written word, nor, obviously, did they have the keyboard or the phone to type their opinions and thoughts, as we do today.

So today, when I recite these verses of the Psalms, I ask that the Lord guide my use of words, not only when I am saying them out loud, but when I am typing them on my keyboard or on my phone. Because today, strangely, I type many more words than I say aloud. The Psalm-verses remind me that I need God’s help in discerning when I need to share my words, and when I need to withhold them; when I should click “Send,” and when I should abstain from that. Today let me remember to ask for the wisdom to know the difference.

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