Machine Gun Mouth

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Machine Gun Mouth

I have to thank Dan, who leads the Sunday school class I attend. He used this phrase to describe himself in earlier years. I loved the phrase because it gives us such a good word picture for how our words can be! So thank you, Dan, for the inspiration behind this devotion!

Sometimes we are on the receiving end of a ‘machine gun mouth.’ David felt the oppression from this scenario in Psalm 64. He described it as his enemies sharpening their tongue and bending their bows to shoot those bitter words like arrows into his soul. However, David found his refuge and hope in the Lord. He chose to glory in the Lord, and doing so changed his outlook when others were wounding him with their words.

Isaiah 32:6-7 gives a good example of a ‘machine gun mouth’ by mentioning those who speak foolishly, making evil plans, and speaking falsely about the Lord.

In dealing with others who may have a ‘machine gun mouth, we find that we shouldn’t cast our pearls before the swine.  (Matthew 7:6)  Proverbs 26:5 tells us not to answer a fool according to his folly or we will be just like him.  Clearly, there are times when we need to keep our pearls to ourselves and not share them.  We must use wisdom and discretion when dealing with others who ‘run at the mouth.’

When speaking of the last days, Timothy warned us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that we will see many in the church who are boasters and blasphemers. They will have a form of godliness, but deny its power. He gives a strict warning for us to stay away from such people.

Regarding our own tendencies to be a ‘machine gun mouth,’ we are warned that our foolish talk and godless chatter can destroy relationships.  (Proverbs 11:9)  1 Timothy 6:20-21
admonishes us to avoid foolish discussions with others who have so-called knowledge. People who engage in that have even wandered from the faith.  2 Timothy 2:16 advises us to avoid worthless foolish talk because it only leads to more ungodly behavior.

Colossians 3:8 warns us to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language.  I like how it words this, like these characteristics become a part of our clothing.  Have you ever met someone who just reeks of anger?  When you encounter someone like that, you likely want to run the other way!  I also found it interesting that every word listed here has to do with what comes out of our mouths. Obviously, our words hold a lot of power.

Proverbs 10:19 tells us that when our words are many, sin is not absent.  When you think of having an argument with someone, have you noticed that the longer, and more-heated the argument gets, the easier it is to start sinning with your mouth?

Another scenario where words can be many, thus leading to sin is in a group setting with several women.  If one begins to speak ill of her husband, the others tend to join in.  Next, each lady tries to outdo the others with her comments.  Before you know it, the room is filled with negativity and sin.

I have to admit, I have had many times in my life when I spoke with a ‘machine gun mouth.’ I have struggled with a bad temper for many years. If I don’t keep myself well-grounded in the Word, it is so easy to slip back into that nasty habit of letting my words be like a machine gun, wounding others, killing relationships, and putting chinks in my spiritual armor.

I noticed something else about our words when researching this topic. Proverbs 31:26 tells us when she speaks. This implies that we don’t always need to be talking! We don’t always need to share our opinions on every topic. We don’t need to vent every frustration we faced throughout the day. We don’t need to voice every burden we are carrying to everyone we meet.

Scripture shows us some beautiful ways to use our words and the results that come when we choose to allow the Lord to have control over our tongue.

·         We become wise and our tongue can bring healing to others. (Proverbs 12:18)
·         When we speak at good word at the right time, our words are like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
·         When we speak edifying words, it can impart grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
·         Our words can feed many. (Proverbs 10:21)
·         God can give us an instructed tongue so we will know how to speak a word to those who are weary. (Isaiah 50:4)

Matthew 12:34 tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth will speak. This implies that our words hold a lot of power, as well as revealing what is truly in our heart — good or bad. I want my words to be the kind which will impart healing, refreshment, encouragement, grace, and wisdom to others! How about you?

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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