‘The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.’ Proverbs11:9 (NKJV)
According to this proverb, there are words that can be destructive. Another proverb says that ‘There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health’ (Proverbs12:18). Another says ‘a gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit’ (Proverbs15:4). A very well-known one is ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits’ (Proverbs18:21). Think about these effects from a destructive tongue: deeply cutting, crushing and breaking one’s spirit and on occasions bringing death to the scene. Someone once said, ‘For every negative word spoken into a person’s life, it takes at least 14 positive ones to bring some kind of equilibrium’. Think about the people that you have frequent, regular contact with; what sort of words are you speaking into their lives? Particularly consider those who are the more vulnerable party in your relationship, for example, your children, employees or fellowship. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote that ‘the most sensitive thing that Yehovah ever made was a human soul’. Are your words bringing life or death to those in your life? Do you build up those around you, encourage them, compliment them and help them to see their value? Do you sow the seeds of kindness, grace and mercy into your family, your workplace and fellowship? Yeshua said that one day you will have to give account for every careless word you have spoken. James gave some good advice: ‘let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath’ (James 1:19). What type of words are you using in your daily life?