Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Words, Words And More Words...
We sure do use a lot of words! If we are not speaking words, we are typing words, texting words, tweeting words, or merely thinking words. We use words to share our hearts, to give opinions, to show love, to show anger, to curse, and to bless. I have been asking the Lord to make me more conscious of the words I speak and the thoughts I think. The Bible makes it clear that there is power in our words to bring life or death. My desire is that all my words – spoken or unspoken – bring life.
The Poison Apple And The Prince's Kiss
Think of the story of Snow White. We all remember the poison apple from the jealous queen that was given to Snow White. One bite of this poisoned apple resulted in endless sleep (death) for the princess. Then, the kiss of the prince brought Snow White back to life. The kiss of love reversed the curse of the poisoned fruit.
This story can be likened to the effect our words have on others. We can use our words to poison, or we can use our words to bring life. When we are careless in our word choices, using them to harm another or to speak with jealousy and animosity (in other words – death), it is no different than bringing a poisoned apple to eat. When we consider our words carefully and align them with God's definition of love, then we release a kiss of life.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
We must make sure that our words are filled with the expression of patience, kindness, gratefulness, humility, peace, forbearance, and forgiveness. Our words need to delight in truth, grieve evil, protect, cover, release hope; and most of all, they must relay the love of Jesus. This is not easy since we speak a vast amount of words each day. But the Holy Spirit is always with us to help us use words seasoned with His loving kindness. God desires that we would allow Him to touch our mouths and fill them with words that bear good fruit. He also desires that we would allow Him to renew our minds so that our thoughts are pure in His sight.
The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in His sight. Proverbs15:26
Words From The Heart
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
More often than not, our words speak what is in our hearts. My heart is one of my greatest mission fields! It continually needs to be nurtured, cared for, softened, cleansed, and purified. If we are not careful, this world, with all of its negative messages and events, can leave a heart calloused and cold. We are continually bombarded with news of tragedies, personal losses, images of death; and the never-ending voice of the enemy murmurs underneath it all a pervasive rumbling of bitterness and despair. It is important to live through the eyes and ears of your spirit so that your heart will not grow cold. It is just as important to let the Lord search your heart and purge it from any impurities.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Psalm 139:23 Amplified Bible
When my heart is pure, my words are pure. I want my heart and my words to be aligned with an attitude of worship. I can only do this by daily going into the heart of God and allowing Him to place His heart within me. I must allow my thoughts to dwell on ideas that edify and are pure. Meditating on words that bring life can cause my mouth to speak words that bring life. John 1:1states:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
The Word that I want to meditate on is Jesus.
Words That Soothe
Two of our children are now married. If I had only one piece of advice to give them regarding their marriages, it would be to speak life to one another. If words represent our hearts, then we need to consider that a harsh word conveys a hardened heart. Our words must bring life, hope, and joy. They must represent love when spoken to one another (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 above). If your words crush the spirit of your spouse, then you need to nurture true love in your heart.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
One of the hardest things for me to observe is seeing a parent speaking harsh words to their child. Nothing crushes a spirit more than a parent using their God-given authority to shame their son or daughter. It never ceases to break my heart when I hear a parent call their young child a brat (or even worse).
Do kids act badly at times? Of course, but this does not define their identity; it merely identifies their sin nature that needs continued redemption and their immature character that needs continual molding and nurturing.
If your child has had a day that was filled with bad behavior, be careful not to say things such as, "Johnny has been such a brat today." Wouldn't it be better for him to overhear you telling your spouse, "Johnny has had a difficult time obeying today, but I'm sure that he will do better tomorrow. He is such a good boy!" SPEAK LIFE, because Johnny is listening! He needs to know that you believe in him and all the potential that God has put within him to overcome temptation and to live a life that exceeds all your wildest dreams.
Our family spent a number of years bringing troubled teen boys into our home. One day we were dealing with one of the boys who was having an emotional meltdown. He was screaming, cursing, and saying vile things to everyone around him. I stopped and quickly asked the Holy Spirit how to respond. Immediately, He told me to tell this angry teen who he really is. I turned to him and said, "This is not who you are! You are not a person who believes these things. You are kind, beautiful, and compassionate. You can stop and have a fresh start right now."
Within seconds, this angry teen fell into my arms in tears. All the anger turned into tears. He had spent years hearing words that brought death to his true identity, and now, hearing words of life brought both healing and a release from the anger that was suffocating him. The kind words were like a kiss of life that soothed his wounded soul.
Be Kind To Yourself
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Don't forget yourself! One of the greatest places of harm we can inflict is upon ourselves. When we think and speak negative words over our own lives, we poison ourselves. This area can be our biggest challenge. Do you find yourself thinking thoughts such as these?
– I am so stupid!
– I'm going to fail; so why even try?
– I can't do anything right!
– Nobody loves me.
– I am so ugly (fat, skinny, etc.)!
– There is no hope for me.
If you are dwelling on negative thoughts that are crushing your own spirit, then you are bringing death to your true identity. Negative thoughts lead to wrong beliefs. It is important to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you who you really are in His sight and then come into agreement with the truth.
When you agree with the lies of the enemy, with the negative voices, it causes you to live the lie. Begin to speak the truth about who you are until your heart believes it. If I am having a bad-self day, I will often go into a room alone and begin to speak out the truth of who I am (according to God's revelation) until I am once again aligned with His truth.
Fruitful words are words that bring life; they are the kiss that awakens us from the slumber of a crushed spirit. Take time today to speak fruitful words over yourself, your spouse, your kids, or whoever crosses your path today. SPEAK LIFE!
Compassion Arise / Oceans In The Desert
Website: compassionarise.org / oceansinthedesert.com
Kathi Pelton has a passion to encourage, uplift, and serve. As well as being a published writer, she has traveled extensively with Watchmen for the Nations, spoken at conferences, been a member of a national prophetic round-table and co-directed a house of prayer. Her favorite pastime is to spend time with her husband and children.
To subscribe to The Elijah List go to: