Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives; those who open wide their lips come to ruin.
Everything that is felt does not need to be verbally articulated. Every thought that passes through our mind does not need to have words given to it. Every emotion that stretches or tugs at our soul does not need to be expressed.
When we hold our own counsel or refrain from responding to the urgency within us, we begin the practice of detachment from those things that stir or trouble us. When we practice this detachment, the passionate impulses that rage in us have no power to prevent us from experiencing solitude and quiet in the presence of God.
When we skitter to and fro in our minds like a buzzing fly at a picnic, it is impossible to step away from the inward attraction to what consistently and insistently calls for our attention. We find ourselves in a place of inner turmoil and outer disorder simply because we persist in choosing to open our mouths when reflective silence is called for instead. Preserving the fullness of our soul begins when we re-direct our attention toward God.
This re-direction doesn’t require heroic effort. It is the embrace of a style of internal awareness that notices the illusory nature of the desires that cling to and claim our soul’s energy.
When that awareness is stirred, we no longer feel the need to spin out our own stories in words that ultimately lead only to deeper distortion. Instead, we are liberated to turn our gaze toward the silence of heaven and find there the seamless nature of God’s peace.
Gracious God, liberate me from my need to speak every word that comes into my mind, so that my soul will be preserved in peace.
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