Before You Speak–A Checklist

Colorful Door
photo by brentdanley

Set a guard over my mouth, LORD;

keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3
How can we guard our mouths? How can we only let good words pass through our lips? How can we keep the not-so-good ones locked behind the door?

It isn’t easy. Evidently even the eloquent psalmist David had trouble with this. Psalm 141:3 is his prayer for a mouth guard! 

We can also pray David’s prayer. In addition, let’s try using a mental checklist to help us know when to open the door of our lips and when to keep it shut. 

Before you speak ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Is what I am about to say necessary? Or am I just trying to fill the silence?
  2. Is it kind? Sometimes hard words are necessary, but perhaps there is a kinder way to day them.
  3. Is it something I would say if Jesus were sitting next to me? If I were more aware of Jesus’ presence, perhaps I would be more careful with my speech.

Let’s try using this checklist as we learn to use discretion in our speech.



  1. Sharla, I really love your 3 questions. So simple, yet so powerful. Thank you for sharing!

  2. As we speak to others may He filter our words so that He is glorified.

  3. Thanks Sandra! I’m glad you found the questions helpful. I am trying to put them into practice!

  4. Thank you Sue for your beautiful prayer!