Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21
Now, this verse isn’t talking about magic power that words have. We cannot speak something alive or speak something dead. BUT we can speak words that bring life or death to the spirit of a man; to bring encouragement or despair, truth or lies.
There are different kinds of speech that bring the “death”:
- the critical spirit
- the liar
- the doom-and-gloomer
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Jas 3:9-10
The critical spirit is the person who is continually nit-picking. They find every flaw, every fault, every weakness and they harp on it. They never see growth or strengths and they count themselves as the standard by which all things should be measured.
Trying to please the critical spirit results in discouragement and shame.
A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin. Prov 26:28
The liar is the person who can never be trusted. One moment they claim absolute honesty, the next they are either flattering or blaming. Their aim is to always put themselves in the best possible light, no matter who they tear down to get it done. We may try to believe the best and give the liar the benefit of the doubt, but it always ends up to our disadvantage.
Trying to trust the liar results in hurt and damage.
All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! “Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
The doom-and-gloomer is the person who frets and worries, who sees disaster and despair around every corner. They are the ones who are quick to point out how every endeavor is likely to fail, every hope is false and every situation will bring catastrophe.
Trying to encourage the doom-and-gloomer results in exhaustion and defeat.
So how in the world DO we bring life with the power of the tongue?
We keep our eyes, our heart and our hope on Jesus!
There is encouragement, truth and hope in Jesus. He is the One who should be the focus of our lives. Peter was able to do the MIRACULOUS by walking on water when his eyes were attentively fixed on Jesus. We too can see His glory and speak words of encouragement, truth and hope to those around us in any and all circumstance when we look intently at Him. But we see Peter begin to sink in despair when his eyes turned to his own situation and the seeming irrationality of it. When we speak words of failure and lies and despair to those around us (as well as our selves), we too will find ourselves succumbing to bondage and defeat.
This is the death and life that are in the power of the tongue: to turn the focus to self and situation rather than to Jesus and His power and glory.
Will YOU be a person who uses your tongue to bring death or life?
Blogs I might be linking to:
Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, Raising Homemakers, Hearts 4 Home, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, Legacy Leaver Thursday, Thankful Thursday, Proverbs 31 Thursdays, Thought Provoking Thursday, First Day of My Life Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Home Focused Friday