"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:21 (NRSV)
Prodigal Thoughts: If you do a quick search on the interwebs, you can find many quotes/sayings about the power of words. One saying I found is this: "Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten." How true! Decades later, I can still remember things that were said to me (both positive and negative) when I was young. In the book of James, we learn that the tongue (words from our mouths) is a constant battle. Especially James 3:9 that reads: "With [the tongue] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God." Think about that for a moment. Sometimes I speak in a joking or sarcastic manner towards someone, but does that really build up the kingdom of God? If someone overhears those words and thinks I am speaking negatively about another, is God glorified in that? Absolutely not! As I have watched my four children grow, I have realized just how potent words can be. This has prompted a lot of change for me over the years and I’m sure, by the grace of God, these changes will continue.
So what can we, as followers of Jesus, do today to be more mindful of our words? Perhaps we can focus on encouraging others and building them up rather than speaking negatively. As childish as this seems, one thing I remember hearing when I was young came from a cartoon movie, Bambi. Thumper’s mother said, "If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all."
Maybe in some cases, we should take this advice and just not speak at all. As we allow God to influence our speech, I’m sure we will find that we will grow to speak life and encouragement into the most difficult of souls. One thing I remind myself of often is that we will never look into the eyes of a person whom God does not absolutely love.
Prayer for today: I pray that we would continue to learn the value of encouraging speech so we would be able to reflect the image of God, not only through our words, but through our actions as well. That we would allow the Holy Spirit full access to guide our thoughts and words so we speak what is on our heavenly Father’s heart, rather than our own. May God be glorified through all that we say and do and may the world that is so badly hurting around us be comforted by God’s words spoken through His children.
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God’s grace on you…