I am in the middle of a new Bible study by Priscilla Shirer entitled,
Can We Talk? The first week was on the power of tongue. Oh, no, I thought, why do we have to start there? We all know that great fires are started from small sparks and yet when it comes to our words, we forget the powerful impact they have in our lives. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Nineteen words that pack a powerful punch. We can choose to speak death or we can choose to speak life - it's within the power of our tongue. Think about all the words you speak in the course of one day. How many bring life and how many bring death? I know from experience that I can tell immediately when my words have encouraged someone. On the other hand (and to my regret), I can also tell immediately when my words have brought discouragement to someone. How many times I have longed to take back words spoken in haste, but once the spark is lit, the fire is hard to contain. One thing that we can always count on to encourage and bring life is the word of God. Speaking God's word aloud is a powerful tool that is always at our disposal. Try it sometime. Open the Bible to your favorite verse or passage of Scripture and begin reading it aloud. There is tremendous power in the spoken Word. The Word of God brings life and speaking it out loud over your children, your spouse, your family and yourself has more value than you may realize. According to Proverbs 18 we will eat the fruit of our words. I don't know about you, but I would prefer that fruit be pleasant and sweet not bitter and sour. Keeping our tongue tame is not easy (see James 3), but with God's help we can begin to be more constructive with our words and less destructive. Fill your mouth with words of life, words of praise, and words of encouragement, and you will have less room for words of death, defeat, and discouragement. Like Priscilla says, "The praises of God cannot fit in a mouth that is already filled with other things." May our words be few but life-giving.