Millions volunteered for military duty during World War II. The majority of these citizen-soldiers had no idea how to conduct themselves to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy. To remedy this, the government established rules of conduct.
The saying “Loose lips sink ships” came from when sailors on leave from their ships might talk about what ship they sailed on or where it had come from, or where it was going. If they talked too much (had ‘loose lips’) their unguarded talk may give useful information to the enemy (yes, they were listening). That information might later cause their ship to be tracked, bombed and sunk. Hence the sinking ships part.*
In God’s world, loose lips means speaking words contrary to the Word of God (Bible) and sinking your own “ship” – your life. James 3 talks about how a huge ship is turned by a small rudder – or an entire forest can be destroyed in a fire created by a tiny spark. Your little tongue can destroy your whole life.
Matthew 12:34 says “out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks.” Whatever is in you will eventually come out of your mouth – anger, fear, animosity, hatred, doubt, or unbelief. Proverbs 6:2 “you are snared by the words of your mouth.” Jesus said it isn’t what goes into your mouth that defiles you but what comes out of your mouth. Mark 11:23 says we will have whatever we say if we don’t doubt in our hearts – for good or for bad.
Example? When many people sneeze, they immediately mutter, “Hmmm, I must be catching a cold” and don’t doubt in their hearts (and sure aren’t surprised) that it will come. The habit of saying that has created many a cold brought on by those simple words thus they believe because they sneezed, they were catching a cold.
But the truth is they gave the devil permission to make them sick by their very own words – snared. Death and life are in the power of YOUR tongue. You will live with what you say consistently because words are spiritual and they carry power.
I still remember when my mom decided to “test” that theory. She quit saying, “I must be catching a cold (or flu)” no matter what she felt like or how many times she sneezed. By the time she passed away at 82 it had been almost 30 years since she’d had a cold or flu. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen!
It is not just the words that you speak when you pray that changes things. Most importantly, it is the words you speak ALL the time. You can go to church and pray, asking God to heal you and get happy over that healing. As soon as you step outside the church door, a twinge of pain hits your body and you say, “Well I must not have gotten my healing.”
You negated the prayer you prayed. Faith must be in your heart AND in your mouth. The fruit of your mouth will manifest itself in your life – for good or for bad (words along the lines like the old song**, “If I had no bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”).
How about, when paying your bills you keep saying, “Every time I pay the bills, money sure flies out the door, ha ha!” “I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention!” Or something everyone has said at one time or another, “Man, that almost scared me to death!”
That just tickles me to death.
I laughed so hard I almost had a heart attack!
I’m just dying to go there!
That makes me sick!
YOU make me sick!
We can’t afford it.
I doubt it!
Oh, I don’t believe that.
You kids are driving me crazy (hello Alzheimer’s?)!
You’re killing me here!
These are ALL anti-covenant words – words contrary to God’s Words, the Bible.
So how do you make your words match your prayers? How do you talk “faith” all the time? How do you turn your life (ship) around and quit saying wrong things? First ask God to put a guard on your mouth (Psalm 141:3). Then ask Him to prompt you every time you say something contrary to His Word.
It won’t all change overnight. Trust me; I know what I’m talking about. I started watching my words in the 1980’s – and God is STILL prompting me. Not because I say the same wrong things over and over but because if He had hit me with everything I said wrong all at once, I’d never have been able to change. I would have been overwhelmed with defeat and probably never opened my mouth again!
But God is merciful – He takes you one baby step at a time. He might start with, “Don’t say, ‘That just makes me sick.'” So you stop saying that. Then years later you’ll hear, “Don’t say, ‘I don’t know what to do about that” – a far heavier thing we say that makes perfect sense because we often run up against things we don’t know.
Why is it wrong? Because God’s Word says we can know all things and God will show you what you need to know (if you believe that)! As long as we confess, “I don’t know” we will never know. We need to say something like, “God will show me.”
So – get to work on turning your life around! Keep in mind your own loose lips sink the ship of your life and begin to change your life, one word at a time! You WILL notice a difference. Your life will change.
* http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/237250.html and http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/lslips.htm
** “Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me” song and sketch from 1960’s television show Hee Haw.