- Sam Dahl
Mouths of Mission, Not Destruction (Psalm 141:3-4)
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! 4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil... —Psalm 141:3-4
We find ourselves at a time in American life and culture when it can feel like evil is winning. It’s often hard not to feel like things are spinning out of control as secularism notches victories on numerous issues regarding morality. Biblical positions are attacked as bigoted, antiquated, and the wrong side of history. Love and tolerance rule the day, as long as love and tolerance mean not only accepting, but also approving, the cultural morality flavor of the month.
What are we to do? It is easy to fight back in like manner. Circle the wagons! If they attack us, we’ll attack them! Let’s show them who is really being hateful! Our tongues can turn into a vicious weapon (James 3:8) that, under the guise of upholding biblical truth, ultimately dishonors Christ. Instead of overcoming evil with good, we are easily overcome with evil (Romans 12:21).
Everyone wants to win and win right now. When we use our tongues to destroy those who oppose us, we are misunderstanding our enemy. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). In Christ, we are already on the winning team! The gospel has freed our mouths from the need to seek and destroy, to be employed in seeking and saving the lost.
Our opponents are not the enemy, they are our mission field. A mouth over which the Lord has set a guard is one that corrects opponents with gentleness so that God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25). We don’t fight evil with evil. We don’t fight like the devil to please the Lord.
“Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). May the Lord keep our hearts from the inclination toward evil in the midst of a wicked and adulterous generation, so that our mouths may reflect and testify to the victory that we have in Christ by bearing witness to the life-giving gospel in grace and truth.
Are you panicked or hopeful about the world we live in?
Does your heart desire to see the conversion, rather than destruction, of those with whom you disagree?
Is there a person or group who you view as your opponent that you want to destroy? How can you engage them with convictional kindness?