by Tim Howard
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. NIV
Shut Up! You're no good! You're lazy! You're stupid! YEAH I’M TALKING TO YOU! You will never make it! What is wrong with you? You’re too old! No one wants you! You're ugly! Get away from me! I am sorry you were ever born! I should have never married you! You're crazy! You’re a loser!
Before you stop reading this article and think I’m a jerk – Please know, there are a lot of people whose relationship with God and relationship with others is highly affected for the worst because they have listened to and believed the wrong words.
Your life right now is the composite of words spoken to you or by you. The words you have listened to and believed – and the words you have spoken to others with conviction have set the direction of your life.
The nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me” may sound cute but it’s simply not true. Words affect the mind, the emotions the attitude and alter a person’s behavior.
Psalms 33:6 "By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breadth of His mouth."
He spoke light, darkness, the moon, the sun, the trees and all we see into being by a spoken word. God demonstrates the power of words through His creation and the same power is revealed through the words you choose to declare to others.
The way you speak and the words you use, creates an atmosphere that brings life or death to those who hear. If you change the words you listen to – change the words you speak to others – you can change the world you live in.
Words carry an unseen power that brings about seen results! You can literally see a person’s behavior and countenance brighten up when you speak edifying and complimentary words to them. The opposite can be seen when negative and derogatory words are spoken.
Your words set the course of your life towards destiny or destruction.
Listen to James 3:5-10 “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it. It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on. MSG
The Israelites grumbled, complained, murmured, blamed and accused others for their problems, which led to their destruction. Their words caused them to be stuck in the wilderness for 40 years. They couldn’t hear the words coming from their own mouths. It was their negative words, fueled by a hardened heart that restricted them from experiencing life to its fullness.
David had good reason to give this command: Psa. 34:13 “…Guard your tongue.”