1 Peter 3:10 – “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile”
Don’t you hate when you bite your tongue? It happens when you least expect it and it really hurts! But it’s in the Bible you know…well, not exactly, but the same principle is…
In the verse above, Peter gives us an awesome promise for living a long life and seeing good days, a promise that no pill or cream can even come close to fulfilling. He’s quoting Psalm 34:12 – “Who is the man that desires life, and loves days, that he may see good?” Again, just what the world is looking for in a bottle, and willing to spend an estimated $261.9 billion last year in anti-aging products, and billions more on just about anything that promises “the good life”. But the real solution is found in Psalm 34:13 and 1 Peter 3:10 “let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile”.
Refrain means to keep oneself from doing, feeling, or indulging in something, and not to give in to impulses. Other translations use the word “restrain” which means to lock up. Have you ever had an impulse to say something offensive, or roll your eyes, or give someone “the look”? Don’t everyone say yes at the same time! If you want to love your life and see good days (plural), stop saying some of the things you are saying on impulse or by habit. Stop complaining, putting people down, or being so critical. Ouch! You may want to, but don’t do it. My parents taught us, “If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all”. Great advice. Hard to do.
It takes practice folks. If you have something constructive to say, ask God to show you how to speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Bite your tongue. It’s like the bit in a horse’s mouth that controls its movement. The rider has to let the horse know who’s in control! Same goes for our mouth, we have to let it know who’s in control. Galatians 5:22 says we already have self-control on the inside of us. We don’t HAVE to give in to any urge or impulse to speak our mind. We have the power of God to say “no!”
Just like biting your tongue doesn’t feel good, refraining your tongue from evil doesn’t feel good at the time either. But if you desire a life that you love and want to see good days, you need to choose your words carefully. Go ahead, bite your tongue!