The Power of Life and Death
The Power of Life and DeathShare

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

Words. We all know the damage careless talk brings. Most likely we all have spoken and heard things that were better left unsaid.

Yet, words can also encourage, strengthen, comfort, inspire and teach.

Proverbs 10 tells how the wise and upright person uses words:

  • the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life (10:11);
  • the lips of the righteous nourish many (10:21);
  • the mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom (10:31).

Life-giving words come from a righteous and wise person. What incredible power we have been given! Instead of cheap words or trite platitudes, we can offer rare treasures.

The Bible describes a righteous person as one who believes God (Genesis 15:6) and a wise person as one who fears God (Proverbs 9:10). So, when we trust Jesus to save us, and then submit ourselves to His will and His way, we become both righteous and wise.

In the New Testament, James instructs his readers that, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). Paul tells believers, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).

In a world that bombards us with meaningless and hurtful words, we can speak wise, kind, nourishing truths that build up people.

Holy God, may I understand the incredible power of my words. I want my conversations to be life-giving. Spirit of the living God, make me righteous and wise. Speak through me. Amen.

— Read James, Chapter 3. Write down everything you learn about the tongue and wisdom.

By Suzanne Benner

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