I’m Over My Mouth

But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Colossians 3:8 (MSG)

My Sis and I erupted in laughter when we saw the quote on the front of a sweatshirt: “You might be Lutheran if you feel guilty over not feeling guilty.”

We’re both grateful for our Lutheran upbringing. Our laughter wasn’t mean-spirited. It was more like the self-deprecating humor people share when they’re among people they love. And my Sis and I loved our church.

Of course, like most jokes, they’re funny because there’s a dot of truth to them. Such is the case with my recent bout of “Lutheran” guilt. Lately, I’m feeling guilty over not feeling guilty.

You see, sometimes I cuss.

It bothers me. Rightly so. The Living Bible’s version of today’s verse says,

“… but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language.”

God says I shouldn’t cuss. Sometimes I do. Therefore, I feel guilty. The struggle to get over my potty-mouth is real. Over the past twelve months, I’ve…

Read articles on cussing.
Re-defined cussing.
Rationalized cussing.
Given up quitting cussing.
And finally, cursed cussing.

The hope that I could change my ways began to feel as futile as hoping the french fries under my car seat would get better with time.

But recently, something has started to shift. And like most good things from God, it began as a whisper. My frustration, guilt, and self-contempt were about to get the better of me. Fortunately, God reminded me of something I already knew, but for some reason, I had forgotten to apply. He whispered:

It’s not about what you do or don’t do. It’s about who you are. Click To Tweet

If freedom looked like a flowchart, the next two bubbles would be:

  1. Failure to modify behavior is full of guilt.
  2. Seeing oneself as God does is full of hope.

And now you know why I’m struggling with feeling guilty over not feeling guilty. When I slip up, I still have regret. The difference is that I no longer park in the place of “dirty-mouthed, shame-faced Cindy.”

The conversation with God looks more like this,

“I’m sorry, God. Forgive me. I know you don’t see me as ‘that person.’ Please help me remember who I really am.”

If the question of ‘who you are’ has you stumped, I’ve got a simple answer.

You are His.

When our mouths are a hot mess, we can bathe in the shadow of the cross and come out from behind with a clean cry, “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine!”

God is showing me that even if I have to push the re-start button every sixty seconds, it doesn’t change how He sees me. A disappointing behavior doesn’t cause God to see me as a disappointment. This motivates me to change. Instead of feeling stuck in defeat, I feel inspired to rise and be the person God sees me as.

When there is a habit in our lives we’re struggling with, whether it be our mouth or some other area, we can rest in the truth that God is passionate about wanting to do life with us. Consequently, He will use both our “hits” and our “misses” to remind us of who we are—His.

Reflection Questions

Is there a behavior in your life that causes you to feel guilty?

Describe how it would feel to take that behavior with you as you stand behind the cross while God looks at you and says, “You are my beloved!”

“Mouth management” may also mean we need to look at things like slander, meanness, and foul talk. If any of these areas are a struggle, let’s ask God to help us see ourselves as He does so we can get over our mouths and live in freedom!

Prayer

Dear God, I’m so sorry when I sin with my mouth. David prayed it best when he confessed, “Against you, you only have I sinned.” When I sin with what comes out of my mouth, it hurts you. I also know it hurts me, and yet sometimes it’s hard to stop. Remind me of who I am before the temptation strikes so I can keep from doing it. Remind me of who I am during a moment of failure so I can be quick to repent. Remind me of who I am after a failure, so I don’t stay parked in indignity and miss the life of freedom you have for me. Thank you for the cross that hides my shame, shapes how You see me, and gives me hope for the future. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

18 thoughts on “I’m Over My Mouth

Shelly Ford

Oh so hot home today. And I’ve thought to pray about it. Today, I start praying about it and remembering who’s daughter I am!

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    And THAT Shelly is where I’m convinced transformation starts… knowing who we really are even when we mess up. May I say a quick prayer for you, Sis? “Father God, I thank you that your tender Spirit is already at work in Shelly. Continue to whisper truths to her about who she is and who’s she is. May the truth of her true identity afford her the self-forgiveness and courage to push the re-start button as many times as it takes to live out who You say she is. Thank you for loving us as we are, here and now. You are such a good, good God.” Love you, Shelly!~ Cin

    Reply

Nancy Silvers

I hate to admit it but I am among sisters, right? Sometimes I struggle with gossip 😢 I’ve caught myself more often than not asking someone-have you seen so and so and the answer that comes is for the other person to give me a blow by blow description of what is going on in that persons life. I am getting better with saying, “That sounds a bit like information that is there’s to share.” and stepping away from the conversation. Often the other person will say, “I just want you know so you can pray.” and my answer is, “That’s her information to share-I don’t need the details to pray for them-God knows them better than she does.” Some say “ya know you are right” and others will get indignant. I just tell them I’ve been convicted of gossip and don’t want to go there-for MY spiritual health. It’s a daily battle but God knows my heart and is guiding me in His righteousness.

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Oh, Nancy, I get it! And it’s so stinking easy for gossip to take on the disguise of a prayer request, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure most of us could say we’ve caught ourselves in the same situation. I love your response though… “I don’t need the details to pray.” I’m going to remember that one. Thanks for sharing Sis!

    Reply

    Jodie

    Very wise, Nancy. And yes, you are among sisters. Talking It over together in light of God’s word strengthens us. I too remind myself- I don’t need details to pray and remind myself not to share or listen out of turn. Love you!

    Reply

    Brandy Richardson

    Thank you for sharing that and the way you respond. I think we’ve all had moments of lose lips, I know I have. I have literally said things then moments later thought to myself, “why did you even say that? It’s really not your business”. BUT GOD always brings awareness, and through that I’m slowly learning to think more before I speak. I like how you tell them that you have been “convicted of gossip” and that you are guarding your spiritual health. I pray that we could all be more discerning at knowing when to set a guard or zip our lips. The struggle is real though! BUT GOD is faithful to help us with these struggles, we just gotta bring them to him.

    Reply

    Nancy Silvers

    Thank you sweet sisters for once again showing me not shame but instead that I am not alone in this struggle. No matter our walk in life, age or anything that might divide us when we share, honestly, we come to find out how much more a like we all are. Same struggles but also the same heart that wants to follow after God! Be blessed and be a blessing today!!

    Reply

Cindy Wilkins

It’s not what I say out loud usually but the self-talk that goes on in my head. Oh the mean things that I say! Things that I would never say to another! Standing behind the cross is where I need to be to replace what slips so easily off my tongue to belittle myself with the reminder of how Christ has made me worthy with his sacrifice! Not an easy task for this sharped tongued gal!

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    I’ve been there too Cindy. What’s up with that? The voices in our head can be some of the worst critics! Lately, the verse that keeps popping into my head is from Zephaniah 3:17 “…He will exult over you with loud singing.” When I stop and remember that God is singing over me it quiets my self-criticism. Who am I to tell God I’m not worth singing over?! We’re so glad you’re here Cindy. You always have such an authentic and encouraging word to share.

    Reply

Jodie

Been thinking about this struggle all day. It’s not just ugly words, sometime it’s words of discouragement, or words that as are joy useful. I lean on the KUT test I learned from Gwen Smith. Are my words K-ind, U-awful, and T-rue. They need to be all 3 to make the kut ♥️ thank you Cindy for the candid conversation.

Reply

    Jodie

    Are not useful- whoops. I guess spell check is used to me using the word JOY! 💗

    Reply

    Nancy Silvers

    Love this Jodie-is it Kind Useful AND True-great filters to run our words through before opening our mouths. Striving but still missing the mark sometimes but I AM making progress!!

    Reply

Tara Horsley

It is self talk on my head and voice in my head. Sometime good and sometime ugly words. Behind the cross is where I need to be when I have voices in my head. Standing behind the cross is where I need to be to replace these voices in my head when they are really ugly.

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    I agree with you Tara. I remember a mentor once taught me how important it is not to get stuck in my failings and shortcomings. That’s not to say we don’t experience remorse or regret but he was always quick to remind me that if we stay in the place of regret we miss the whole point of how God sees us. I can still hear him say, “Cindy, when God looks at us He only sees us through the shadow of the cross and that makes us beautiful.” I’m so glad you’re here today Tara. I’m praying for you right now.

    Reply

Gail

It’s always so healing to learn that others struggle with the same things I do. A foul thought or image will cross my mind, and I’ll think, “Where did THAT come from??”. I believe it’s the enemy, working on me. I remind him that Jesus lives in me, and there’s no room for him!!

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Right, Gail?! Where DID that come from? I’m so with you. Whether it’s the enemy, the past, my environment, my personal choices I know this… Jesus redeems it all. And I am SO grateful. Thanks for popping in friend. It truly does help to know we’re not alone in the things we struggle with.

    Reply

Brandy Richardson

There was a time when I think even truck drivers would have been embarrassed by the words that came out of my mouth. I worked in a large warehouse for 18 years and had to deal with a lot of nonsense. Started there in my BC days and about 10 years in was when I accepted Jesus and realized my ways desperately needed to change. Of course God started with my words. Little by little I learned to hold my tongue and stop dropping the ever horrible F-bomb. One day I was at the desk and a gal walks up and just starts spewing it, like every 3rd word and I literally stood there in horror at how disgusting it sounded coming out of her mouth. And from my Spirit came “this is how you used to talk to people everyday Brandy” and it truly made me feel sick to my stomach. Not to say that I have not used the word since but thankfully these days, every last button has to be pushed in order for it to get past my lips. We often don’t realize how bad a habit is until we stop doing it then get in the presence of others still wrapped up in it. Truly brings a new layer of awareness.

These days my struggle is with road rage. Thankfully when I am shouting, my windows are rolled tight and they cannot hear me but in my heart of hearts I know that God does. We are all a work in progress and not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for the grace, mercy and forgiveness he pours out on me. I can honestly say though that in looking back over the last year, my road rage has significantly decreased and often times turns from rage to prayer. I start thinking maybe that person is just having a bad day, maybe they are hurrying because a loved one is hurt and they need to get to them, and so on then I just ask God to get them there safely. Of course this action usually comes after I throw out some comcplaint but to me it’s a sign that God is doing something new by trying to turn my bad habit into something better.

Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Brandy, thank you SO much for sharing your story. I’m not sure what it is but there is something incredibly encouraging about knowing we’re not alone in whatever we struggle with. Our environment definitely plays a role in what happens with our mouths. Whether its the home we grew up in, the place we work or the friends we spend time with it’s hard to keep the compass of our mouth on “true north” when the people and places around us keep pulling it south! What a testimony in your own life of what God has done. And yet we’re always a work in progress aren’t we?! Road rage is real and it can get the best of us. Praying for your today Brandy and thanking God for your presence here!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Connected

Sign up for occasional emails, giveaways, info on upcoming retreats, and more! And no worries, we won’t share your personal information or fill your inbox with spam. Eww. We hate spam.

Featured Product

Sisterhood Journal

What is sisterhood? It’s not a club or sorority, but a special kind of soul connection—I can call you sister because you call Him Father.

Read More »