Words of Life; Words of Death

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat is fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Has someone ever killed you with their words?  Have they knocked the wind out of you, crushed your spirit, left you gasping and breathless?  If you have ever experienced this you know that the tongue truly does have the power of death.

Has someone ever brought you to life?  Has someone healed you, whispered a word in your ear that made you burst into tears out of (seemingly) nowhere?  Has someone made restorations with you; said that they were sorry?  Has someone affirmed you and encouraged you and made you feel just a little bit better? Has someone told you that you are worth something?

Have you done either of the above to someone?  Do you know the power of the very words that you speak? Even the smart little whitty comments can bring death to the vulnerable; and just a quick smile and a genuine”hello how are you” can bring life to a person in need of a friendly face.


Let’s look at the wide sphere of influence: that includes the grumpy lady at the checkout line.  The person who cuts your hair or fixes your coffee.  The person in the cubicle next to you who you think is BEYOND Weird. That kid you always sit next to in class but never speak to.

Especially as followers of Christ, our words can bring life (or even death) to all of these people around us.  The people we see each day are just as loved and just as sought after by the Lord as we are.  Jesus died as much for us as He did for each of them. And He calls us to be SALT and LIGHT; to preserve and to illuminate.

So this is my challenge to you this week; Do you know their name? (most of them wear tags you know).  Do you say thank you, and wish them a good day?  Do you take the time to smile, do you look them in the eye and let them know that you VALUE them.  That they are important enough to look at in the face.  That they are every bit worthy of your conversation and of your direct attention.  Do you make friends with them and show a genuine concern for their life?

Now think about the people close to you; did you know that your words can bring them to life, or take them down to death?  Did you know that that family member that you take for granted may need your affirmation or your positive attention? Or do you justify your actions and your nippy words because you “see them all the time” or “they know you didn’t mean it”?  Do you become desensitized to the serious nature of each phrase that comes from your mouth; the damage or good it can do?

The Word says that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)  So when you use your tongue in careless ways that bring death to others; that demonstrates a carelessness of the heart.  And when you use your tongue to bring life to people, that illustrates a loving heart that overflows to affirm, bless and heal people.

I have killed with words; I have healed with words. I have been killed with words; I have been healed with words— and I’m sure most of you out there can relate.  So this week I want to do something a little bit different:  I want you to go at least one day this week really thinking about everything you say, and come back and post what happens.  Consider those that may need a word of life from you, and think about how you can make amends to those that you have wounded.  I know there are a ton of you out there reading this blog (I can see how many of you have viewed it 😉  so don’t cop out!  This is a challenge; good luck and may the Lord reveal to us the conditions of the hearts from which we speak.

4 thoughts on “Words of Life; Words of Death

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