Recently I found myself in a dream walking by the ocean. I stepped out onto a dock and began to walk to the end of it when suddenly I felt something tighten around my ankle accompanied by a sharp pain. The next thing I knew I was falling into the ocean with something tied around my leg. As I struggled to come up for air I found it difficult because of what appeared to be a metal cable wrapped around my ankle. As I kicked and struggled in the water to keep my head up and get air, this cable made it very difficult because it kept my leg suspended in the air. I woke up in that state struggling for breath and life in the dream. Later that morning in the course of the devotions I read this scripture out of the book of Proverbs:
“You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth.”
As I meditated upon the meaning of this verse I remembered the night before how I had spoken to my wife in anger and how I never quite made it right before I went to bed. I just couldn’t bring myself to be humble and apologize, for whatever reason. Even the next day I still felt bad about it as I sat there with my bible on my lap, as I read this proverb over and over and thought of the dream. Suffice to say the moment my wife awoke I went to her and apologized as I shared the dream, the proverb, and what I felt God was showing me. I felt relieved and unburdened when I did, as well as wiser for it. Praise be to God who teaches the children who are ready to learn and change.
How many of us have walked around for weeks, for months, maybe even years ensnared by the words of our own mouth? Oftentimes the tendency of human nature in carnality is to blame others for our problems, to point the finger and look at everyone else except the most important person, who is the person in the mirror. As is often said with forgiveness, a person may have hurt you but you’re the one that continues to hurt yourself if you allow the poison of bitterness and unforgiveness to remain in your heart. The same can be said of words which have kept us bound and ensnared. Oftentimes we speak foolish words in response to hurt, out of anger or some other emotional reaction, which at times in the moment feels unavoidable. But we decide if we’re going to deal with the issues of our heart and allow ourselves to remain ensnared or not. Repentance is the key to loosing ourselves from the bonds of this snare. We repent before the Lord and we repent to any that we’ve spoken wrongly to.
I would also suggest that we learn to make a habit out of the Master’s advice of constantly “blessing” our enemies with the fruit of our lips (Matt.5:44). If you have the habit of blessing your enemy, when your enemy provokes you to anger with pain then you are already conditioned to pour coals upon his head with goodness and avoid the snares of your own mouth (Rom.12:21). Remember, a fool vents all his anger and feelings, but a wise man holds those feelings and that anger back and keeps silent (Prov.19:11). Anger resides in the bosom of fools (Ecc.7:9), but the wise restrain their lips (Prov.10:19). Let us all grow in wisdom and learn to condition both our hearts and our lips to overcome when we’re provoked to anger, staying free from the snares that Satan sets for us to enter into by our own reactionary words. God has given to you the power of life and death, and He has placed that power within in your tongue (Prov.18:21). Govern that power daily through blessing your enemies and holding your peace when provoked. In doing so you will be counted among the wise walking free of the burdens which so many find themselves beset by. You will be free to love and live life to the fullest eating the fruit of life that comes from your lips!
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