“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
I recently read a quote that said, “Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime.”
Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful your words are and how they may be affecting those around you?
Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
Death and life. That is the power that our words can have on others. Our words can breathe life into the souls of those around us, or they can leave scars that will never fade.
I have recently been more aware of the words I speak. While I would love to say that everything that leaves my mouth brings only life to those around me, the truth is that all too often the words I speak can be sarcastic, critical, or come with a tone or expression that is less than life-giving.
How about you? What affect do the words you speak have on those around you? Would you want to be on the other side of your words?
When considering what comes out of our mouth we need to understand the truth of Luke 6:45 which tells us, “…the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” Said another way, “…what you say flows from what is in your heart.” So in reality, our less than life-giving words are not really a mouth problem, they are a heart problem.
So what can we do to ensure that our words are life-giving and a genuine blessing to those around us?
First, we need to pray. We need to ask God to help us see what is truly in our heart. We need to ask God to help us decipher where our critical, sarcastic, negative, or harsh words are coming from. We need to understand what in our heart is producing such words.
Second, we need to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in Galatians 5:16 when he says, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Because our words are an overflow of our heart, we should seek to be so full of the Spirit every day that only things of the Spirit are able to flow from us.
Who is it in your life that needs to hear life-giving words from you? Perhaps it’s your spouse, children, a family member, friend, co-worker, or all of the above.
My challenge for each of us this next week is to be intentional with our words. To identify someone in our life who needs to hear words of kindness, encouragement, or praise. Once we have identified this person(s) let’s ask God to help us speak only life-giving words to him or her over this coming week.
My prayer is that we would learn to follow the Spirit every day, asking Him to continually fill our hearts and guide our words. Imagine if each of us lived each day this way. Oh how God might use our life-giving words in the souls of others.
*If you have been encouraged or challenged by what you read today I would love for you to share it with a friend. Thanks!