From Psalm 137: "Let my tongue be silenced if ever I forget you."
Now, I don't think this means "make me mute forever, God" or "I'll start practicing the art of mime while living the way I want to live." As a young girl, however, I do remember being quite frightened at this Psalm since the most horrendous thing I could imagine was to be without my voice for any long period of time.
This morning, however, the true meaning leapt out at me. All of a sudden, the image of the three monkeys "Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil" popped into my head, and I started cracking up... because they're exactly who I need to emulate when I forget what the heck I'm doing and how the heck I'm supposed to be acting as a child of God.
I think the verse means (please excuse the liberal and not very religious language): When I am off course...when I am being mean-spirited and spiteful...when I am being insecure and cowardly...when I am IN ANY WAY far from you, please help me shut my big, fat mouth!
(At least, in my very Italian, verbal, loquacious, expert opinion, that's what I would need to tell myself in order to keep my trap shut.)
It's better to say nothing than to give voice to spite, hate, gossip, judgment, low self-opinions and the like. I am forgetting God when these times are upon me, and, since they're more often than I'd like to admit still, the key is to keep them to myself. To silence my tongue before representing something other than Godliness. Now that doesn't mean I think we should never discuss with others what is bothering us or how we need help. I think these qualities are important so that we don't become bogged down in hiding from our true selves, dodging conflict at every turn, preventing ourselves from being transparent. But I think Christ wants positive language spilling forth from our lips, allowing us to become more like Him in all that we do, all that we say, all that we feel. Then we will more often seek to "hear, see and speak" things that are is His image.
Monkey see, monkey do - monkey, I should copy you!