The Danger of Our Lips (Psalm 12:3) - Radical

The Danger of Our Lips (Psalm 12:3)

“May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts.”
– Psalm 12:3


What a strong statement, prayer, really, in Psalm 12:3, asking for the Lord to cut off flattering lips, tongues that make great boasts. Even right before that, Psalm 12:2 talks about those who utter lies to their neighbor, and basically says everybody does this with flattering lips and a double heart, they speak.

We are tempted at every turn to boast or to use our words for evil rather than good.

This Verse Warns Us Of Temptations To Not Speak The Truth

It just causes you to examine your tongue, examine your words. As I read Psalm 12:3, I think oh God, help me to honor you with my lips. Think of all the ways you are tempted to make boasts about yourself with your tongue, with your words. In fact, think of all the ways you are tempted to not speak truth, all the ways you are tempted to flatter yourself, others.

I was talking with my kids about this last night in James chapter three. “The tongue is a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, creatures of the sea, are being tamed, have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father. However, With it, we also curse men who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Oh see the danger, that our lips, our tongues, our mouths, what we speak.”

Psalm 12:3 Asks For God’s Help Against Words Of Evil

And in light of this, we pray, God, help us not to speak with flattering lips, help us not to make great boasts. Help us not to utter lies to our neighbor. Help us not to speak with a double heart with flattering lips. Psalm 12:2. So God, we pray that you would be honored in our mouths today, honored in what we say. God, please use our words to build up others according to their needs in Christ Jesus.

God help us to outdo those around us in showing honor to them. Above all, help us to speak truth. Help us not to lie, God. Keep us from lying from unfaithful lips, and keep us flattering lips, we pray. And God, may there be an evident humility in the way we speak. God, may our words demonstrate humility, not pride, God. We know that so much of what comes out of our mouth, just as we see taught in your word comes from our hearts. So God, cleanse our hearts. So God, give us right hearts that lead to right speech, to tongues that edify others and glorify you. God, we pray for that today in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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