Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.Proverbs 18:21
In today’s devotional God’s word tells us that “tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21). “The Bible stresses that what you say is an accurate indication of what is in your heart. If your words bless and encourage others, they give evidence of a compassionate heart. If you often share the good news about Christ, you demonstrate a heart that is grateful for your own salvation. When others are in a crisis, do they know they will find peace and comfort in your words? Do you frequently and spontaneously offer prayers for others? Do your words and the manner in which you say them reveal a patient heart? All of these behaviors indicate a heart that is like the heart of the Father.”
The truth is, we all have problems with what we say. James 3:4-5 says:“Take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
Speaking negatively is costly in the spiritual realm, while watching what we say can bring spiritual reward. In Jericho, God’s people marched around the city in silence for six days. When they finally shouted on the seventh day, the walls came down immediately. Their silence and then shouting at the right time won them the victory. This is true of us individually as well. If we guard our speech, we can win a great victory. Think about this:
- When we walk and speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, we defeat the enemy.
- When we abide in Christ, His Spirit flows from our lives in word and deed everywhere we go.
- When we enter a place where fear is evident, we can come in the spirit of peace and speak words of life.
Our words can be kind and full of love. Our actions along with words spoken with gentleness, peace, and self-control demonstrate love even in the midst of our enemies. We read in Galatians 5:22-23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
With our tongues we either speak; life or death, victory or defeat, insecurity or confidence, weakness or strength, trust or doubt, but whatever you say, be prepared to eat the fruit of your words.
The Lips of the Righteous
In Proverbs 10, we find seven characteristics of the lips of the righteous. When we refrain from critical and negative speech, we must replace it with uplifting, positive, and grace-filled words. Think about the words you speak. Are they uplifting and do they bring life to others? Ask God to help you evaluate your speech as you read these verses:
- A fountain of life – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked” (verse 11).
- Discerning lips – “Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment” (verse 13).
- Holds his tongue – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (verse 19).
- Choice silver – “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value” (verse 20).
- Nourishes many – “The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment” (verse 21).
- Brings forth wisdom – “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out”
- Knows what is fitting – “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse” (verse 32).
Today’s Action: Thank God for his provision in your life when circumstances appear hopeless.
Thank God for supplying all your needs and don’t complain about what you don’t have.
Thank God for his promises coming to fruition in your life even when they seem to tarry.
Thank God for his love despite how others have treated you.
Thank God for his loving correction and guidance despite how some may have harshly criticized you.
Thank God for where you are in life because he is guiding you.
Today’s Prayer: Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3).
“Jesus spoke plainly about our idle words, yet his warning often goes unheeded. Jesus said that for every idle word there will be a time of accounting in the day of judgment. We would expect Jesus to condemn profane and vile uses of the tongue, but idle words? Idle words are things we say carelessly, without concern for their impact on others. We too quickly assume that the sins of our tongue are minor sins, sins that God will overlook. Yet Jesus was fully aware of the devastating nature of our words.”Quotes by Henry and Richard Blackaby