Holding My Peace

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. – Exodus 14:14

The human tongue, 10 centimeters long and a conglomeration of eight muscles is not the strongest part of our body but it is one of the deadliest. James 3:8 says “no one can tame the tongue, it is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.” For such a small part of our body, the tongue can inflict serious damage!

Today, was one of those days when I was tempted to unleash this weapon of mass destruction. I received a tart request that I felt was unfair, and my human nature wanted to push back, and stand up for myself. Before I could unholster my weapon, I heard a gentle whisper encouraging me to hold my peace and let the Lord fight my battles. I swallowed the venom that sat on my tongue and physically walked away.

We live in a culture that applauds the “clapback.” The world says to push back against wrongs and if you can do it with sass and snark, you get bonus points. But God has a different plan. The word tells us to “set a guard over our mouth” (Psalms 141:3). God does not reward us for the clever retort but for keeping our tongues from evil. 1 Peter 3:10 instructs us that “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.”

In heated moments, I can easily forget the end goal. I don’t want the temporary satisfaction of having bested someone with my words. I want the soothing tongue in Proverbs 15:4. I want my tongue to rejoice and body to rest in hope (Acts 2:26). So, I will follow Psalms 39:1 and “watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” I may not get high fives and finger snaps for the clapback but the rewards of holding my peace are far greater.