“Speak life. Speak life…” so the Toby Mac song goes. These are some amazing and truly inspiring words for everyone. But the real question is… are we really speaking life? Or are we speaking death?
In my daily walk with Jesus, I have many different talks with Him. From how my day is going, to how amazed I am at what He is doing in my life. But at times He will inform me of how I have been speaking. Now I’m not just talking about using good language, or curse words, (may they never cross my lips Oh Lord!) but I’m talking about the power of the words that I am speaking into not only my life, but the lives of everyone around me.
God has been showing me the true power that lies within the tongue.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. Pro 18:21
“Watch what your saying to them. Speak words of encouragement. Show them My great love for them.”
This is what I hear Jesus tell me over and over again. “Speak words of encouragement. Show them My great love for them.” But how easy is it to allow our eyes to tell us what kind of person is standing before us? We have to train ourselves to learn to see the way Jesus sees. And this is with the knowledge and understanding that He, Jesus, was there at their creation. He actually had a hand in it. Knitting them together in their mothers womb. And He thinks that they, just as I, was worth dying for.
Now the words we speak over people that we don’t know, or don’t really know to well, like a co-worker, or someone we might only see once a week at church or some other function might tend to be laced with a kinder more gentler tone than other people we know for the fear of looking to harsh or just being a jerk. But these words still have the power to kill or give life. To build up, or tear down. Some times speaking a true word of encouragement can radically change a persons day, week, or even their lives.
Think about a time when someone whom you hardly knew spoke something to you that either confirmed or changed the way you thought about a problem or life choice that you were dealing with. How did what that person said to you build up you self confidence, or cut you deeply? Did you walk away from the conversation ready to tackle the situation, or just give up on whatever the issue was?
Those words were speaking the power of life or death into your life. Whether they or you even knew it.
But what about the people that you know well. Your spouse, parents, children, siblings best friends, etc… How are we speaking to them? Are the words we are speaking into their lives building them up? Or are they tearing them down? Remember the power of the tongue. Life and death reside within it.
So many times I have caught myself speaking to a loved one with words that I thought were encouraging, but after I had thought about the conversation I realized that they were really not the greatest words at all.
“Don’t yes me to death please!”
Sometimes in the wanting to help others with their problems, we tend to not only hinder them but fall prey to the devils ways of inhibiting them from growing in God. Did you know that sometimes the best words spoken are really no words at all? But did you also know that sometimes the best words to speak to someone are the words that are the hardest to say, And that they require us to truly think about how much that person means to us and speak out of the truest love, God’s love for them.
To many times I have fallen into the trap of the enemy by not speaking what someone needed to hear. The Truth! The truth about how they might be living their lives, or the choices that their are making. Why on earth would we do that? I mean we know what needs to be said, right? We love them and only want the best for them don’t we? I mean why is it that at times it can seem to be so hard to tell a loved one to, “Hey stop being such a jerk!” or “You know that you really shouldn’t do that.”?
Could it be that we are valuing their love for us more than God’s love and desire for them? Could it be that we “just don’t want to hurt their feelings” even though we know that the thing we should say could save them a lot of trouble and pain? Why is that? Why do we let the thoughts of what others think about us change the way we speak life into them?
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Pro 29:25
What if what you spoke over a person brought out a newness of life in them?
What if what you said to them got them to change the way they thought about themselves?
What if how you told them, how great God thought they were, changed how they treated you?
And what if, what if,… what you had to say to a person actually saved their life?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, we have the power to create and the power to destroy. And from this power, those who love it, (the tongue) will eat its fruit. What kind of fruit are you producing? Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” So I ask again. What kind of fruit are you producing? Fruit unto righteousness? Or fruit unto death? I’m hoping, in God, that He will give me the words of life and encouragement to bare “Good fruit”!
I just shared four “What if” questions. But I would like to ask you one more.
“What if you were to not say anything at all?” How would they feel if you never told them the truth about anything? Would they know how much you really care? Could they feel the love that you have for them? Are you really showing love by not speaking or speaking only what their itching ears want to hear?