Zip It: The Keep It Shut 40-Day Challenge by Karen Ehman
ZIP IT is a set of devotions, to cover each week-day for 8 weeks. The theme of each lesson is similar--watch what comes out of your mouth! A Christian believer should be mindful of the consequences of ill-timed speech: "When it comes to our words: they are powerful and they have consequences. They can encourage or embitter, bless or badger, build up or break down."
We might have heard that "words can never hurt me," but of course that is completely false. Words tear down and destroy people when used wrongly: The truth is that bruises fade and bones eventually heal, but a scorched heart may take years to heal."
Words also "stick," just like crazy glue, like superglue, nearly permanent and painful to peel off. " We should be extraordinarily careful before we open our mouth: "Choose wisely. Be choosey. Don’t let words tumble off your tongue haphazardly or flippantly."
Each of the day's meditations includes a discussion, with personal examples illustrating the point. Each day's thought concludes with several follow-up suggestions: Today’s Takeaways, Lesson for the Lips, Challenge, and finally, Prayer
The author also discusses the deterioration of respect in the digital age. In Week 3, "Oh, the Places You Go (and the Things You Say," she encourages, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. As we all know, internet discussions often leads to hurtful verbal attacks. "It has become commonplace to sling opinions on a screen, whether on social media or while leaving a comment on a blog post."
One of the more convicting chapters was, "Bad Speech/ Good Speech 21 The Snowball Of Senseless Speech. In this devotional, the author encourages the reader to avoid all kinds of useless or harmful speech, such as gossip, slander, or petty arguments.
Here's the real reason to watch our tongue--it's not so we will just feel better about yourself. There's a more noble purpose: "When we engage in any of the above types of speech, we run the risk of our behavior snowballing, becoming even less Christ-like."
Perhaps the funniest suggestion was to get a "mouth guard." Just like an athlete wears one to protect his mouth, we also should take great care of what comes out of our mouth: "We should ask God to set a guard over our mouths to prevent idle and destructive talk and to guard us from injury (see Psalm 141: 3.)
All in all, I thought ZIP IT contained a ton of wisdom. Many of these devotions struck pretty close to home! I am sure I can benefit from these daily lessons. I thought this one phrase nicely summed up this book:
"We can reflect the love of Jesus when we engage in conversations with a calm, collected, and civil tone."
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.
Photos courtesy of Pexels.