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Tehillim Tools: Psalm 73:9 Integrity

“They have set their mouth against Heaven, and their tongue walks through the earth.” All those who speak in the vocabulary of evil constantly claim that their intentions are for heaven, their intentions are for the sake of heaven, but in truth we know that their “Tongue walks through the earth,” that their intentions are only to serve their immediate needs. (Tiferet Shlomo; Korach)

I use this verse to pray for help against a specific form of negative speech: speech that is critical of the good intentions of other people. When I find myself speaking negatively of others’ intentions, I recite this verse to remind myself that I must beware that my intentions are truly for the sake of heaven, and not just a claim. That my intentions are good and that I am not, as the verse says, one whose “tongue walks through the earth.”

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