Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21).
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).
Words are powerful. The words we speak every day are much more powerful and effective than most of us understand. Our words can do things far beyond what we seem to realize.
- Words can make someone’s day, and words can ruin someone’s day.
- Words can lift people up and words can terribly discourage people.
- Words can give people hope and words can help people feel hopeless.
As the Scripture says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
A saying that used to be popular years ago stated that “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” This is possibly one of the biggest lies you will ever hear. Words can hurt to an extreme degree, and people use them to hurt others every day.
Yet for us as believers, our goal is to use our words every day to bless others. We are to seek to live a lifestyle of speaking words that habitually bless others and point them to Christ. Our words should bless others, and promote healing, grace, and encouragement in the lives of those around us. We should habitually lift others up with our words.
It is in fact relatively easy to bless others and encourage people with our words if we wisely and very deliberately seek to do so.
What are some words that we can speak as a lifestyle and habitually that can bless others? What are some words that can promote healing, grace, and encouragement?
These are a few: Thank you. I appreciate you. Please. How can I help you? I’m sorry. Please forgive me. How can I pray for you? What can I do to bless you today? You are awesome! You are a blessing. I believe in you. I believe you can do it. You will do great! Reading God’s Word every can bless you a lot. Reading three chapters in the Bible will bless your life. Make time to pray daily.
Obviously, some of the greatest healing words in all of life are spoken when we share the gospel and invite others to receive Christ.
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household (Acts 16:31).
Negative words can be hurtful, discouraging, and toxic. Some words and phrases to avoid include:
I don’t like you. I don’t have anything to apologize for. I can’t stand you. You are not worth anything. Can’t you do anything right? You always say or do the wrong thing.
In James chapter three, we are told much about the effect of our tongue.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water (James 3:1–12).
We are wise to pray the prayer found in Psalm 141:3 every day of our lives:
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
So, we are each wise to assess ourselves and our words. We are wise to judge the words we speak in our lives and as a lifestyle. And we are wise to ask “Do my words bless and heal and encourage? Are my words kind? Or do my words hurt, sting, and destroy? Or do I go back and forth and do both?
Our clear goal should be to live a lifestyle of blessing those in our world with our words.
May we each make it a goal to pray for the Lord to make our tongues a blessing to all those we come in contact with everywhere we go.