“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Because God has given us authority on the earth, the words we speak are powerful. We can speak words that bring life and blessing. We can also speak words that bring trouble and destruction. Because we can cause blessing and cursing with the words that we speak, God tells us that we will be held accountable for every word comes out of our mouth. Think about that – God is listening and weighing everything that we say, even words that are spoken in secret!
Matthew 12:37 says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” In context, Jesus is saying that you can know a person’s heart by listening to the words they say. He compares it discerning a type of tree by looking at its fruit. If a tree bears apples, you know it’s an apple tree. If can learn a lot about a person just by listening to the words they speak. Whatever is on the inside is what will eventually come out, so if we want our words to change, we need to focus on changing our heart. Before we do anything else, we need to receive salvation and allow God to give us a new nature. Then we need to guard our hearts, grow in God, and allow His character to be formed inside of us. You will also be known by the people you associate with. Be careful not to closely associate with people whose words are negative, critical, and complaining. Instead try to group yourself with those who speak positive, supporting, and encouraging words.
The words we speak will determine our destiny. Our words, even though they may seem insignificant, can set the direction of the way our life will go. In James 3:2-4, we read about the direction of a huge ship being determined by such a small part as a rudder. We also read about the direction of a large horse being led by a small thing called a bit. In the same way, the tongue is a small part of our body, but our words will set the course for our life, whether it is for our good or our destruction.
Application: Notice the words that are coming out of your mouth and from the mouths of the people you associate with. Then take a look at your heart and give every part of yourself to God. Be intentional with the words you speak over your life and over the lives of others.
By Melanie Stone