It is nothing short of a miracle to be able to contract our diaphragm to force a compressed, invisible column of air across vocal cords that carve it into sound waves perfectly sculpted by our tongue, mouth and lips, producing intelligible sounds we call words. In this amazing gift, God has given us the power of creation – the authority to fashion our words and to not merely communicate, but to relate.
But with this privilege comes great responsibility. Perhaps if we understood the full power of our words, we’d be more careful about their use. For in their deployment, we either curse or bless – tear down or encourage – wound or heal – speak death or life.
Regardless of whether they are carefully planned or carelessly spoken, as their masters, we give our words assignments with specific purposes to accomplish. For once they reach the intended ear of another, it’s a very short distance to their heart, mind and soul. And many of us have made agreements with harmful words spoken over us that have taken root in our lives.
In spite of repeated warnings in Scripture to keep it, restrain it, and bridle it, we can abuse our stewardship of speech. When we do, we crush the spirit, wound like a sword, set on fire, stir up anger, tear down, slander, deceive, curse and create division. Our tongue can be a relentless evil full of deadly poison.
BUT gracious words are sweet to the soul and health to the body. Good and wise words make the heart glad. They soothe, cover offenses, turn away wrath, adorn with knowledge, encourage, thank, bless, show love, build up, and impart joy and delight. They are a tree of life.
You must never underestimate the power of a kind word – a word of encouragement – a timely word – a life-giving word. Every time you open your mouth, remember God has given you the power to cultivate something in another. Think! Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Don’t tear down what you are hoping to create.
Ask the Spirit to stand guard over the door of your mouth, and let only wise, gracious words leave the premises. Ask the Spirit to bring to mind where you either need healing or need to bring healing. We must break the power of any curses spoken over us and reverse the curses we have spoken over others by declaring truth and asking forgiveness.
Since death and life are in power of the tongue, choose life.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 141:3; 19:14