My husband Jim’s dad was a very wise man. One of the life lessons he taught my husband was that your mouth is your worst enemy. Once you say something, you can’t take it back.
The bible says it this way Proverbs 18:21 Death and life is in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it will eat the fruit of it.
I can honestly say in the thirty-eight years I have known my husband Jim, he has not spoken an unkind word to me in all those years. Not that we have never had a disagreement or become angry and at times fight passionately, but there is a world of difference between having a difference of opinion and using words as a weapon to attack one another to criticize to wound to accuse to tear down.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue!! What that is saying is words are containers for the power they carry, either a life-giving force or a destructive one. Take electricity, for example. Electricity is powerful turn on a switch, and light fills the room. In the same sense, touch a live wire that is cut in half, and it is a destructive force it can kill you. So what this scripture is saying is every time you open your mouth, a creative force is released. It’s a force that will either build our relationship up or tear it down.
Proverbs 12:18 says The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
I recall my husband’s words one day when my hormones were raging, and I was quite frankly not a lot of fun to be around. His words to me, so gently spoken, were, “Hon, you’re really not being yourself” His words were the truth spoken in love, and it snapped me out of it. The words he chose were chosen wisely. He could have accused me of being irrational and overly sensitive, but instead, he reminded me of who I am. His words reminded me my behavior does not have to be ruled by my hormones, my erratic thoughts, or my emotions, but it can be ruled by the spirit. Because I am a born again child of God, the Spirit of Christ is in me, and the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Walk by the spirit, and you will not satisfy the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Jim’s words spoke” life” into me, and I switched gears from being led by the flesh to being led by the spirit.
Our words are a creative force that can either build up or tear apart our relationships, and on a moment by moment basis, we make that choice.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that they may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29). That is not to say that we’re never to confront one another. However, there is a world of difference between a critical word and correcting word. And it all has to do with the heart. One of my favorite scriptures is: “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14)
I want to encourage you as you awaken to face each new day to pray those words, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight” and watch how our Lord will make you aware of your words and lead you to speak words of life!!