Saturday, April 19, 2008

The power of life and death is in the tongue

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

Have you ever considered how powerful your words are? So many people open their mouths and speak without really thinking about what they are saying. This is definitely a generation of loose lips. Nothing is sacred anymore. Think about it, though. Wars have started over words, marriages broken, lives torn apart. God looks at our words quite differently than we do. The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of our words.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:6-8

The tongue can corrupt our whole person
Our tongues can determine the course of our lives! Wow. Now that's powerful

Listen to what Peter says about the tongue:
For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10

I'd like to love life and sign up for some good days, wouldn't you?

And here's what Jesus has to say:
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. Matt 12:26
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned Matt 12:37
Yikes. That scares me a little bit. I'll have to explain every idle word I've said? That could take some time, and it won't be pleasant.
Consider the story of the Israelites crossing the desert toward the land of promise. Remember when they sent ahead some spies to scout out the land and report back. When they returned they had good news and bad news. The good news was the land is plentiful, the bad news was there are mighty men inhabiting it.
So what did the people do? They complained. Essentially they said. Why did God bring us out here to die? We can't enter the land and conquer these people.
Here's how God responded in Numbers 14

And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:

In other words, Okay, God Says...whatever you want. You said you won't enter the land and you'll die in the wilderness, So be it. And He did. That whole generation never saw the promised land.

My advice to you (and myself) is to watch very carefully what we say, not only to others, and to God, but to ourselves. If I go around complaining that I don't have enough time, or I don't sleep well...whatever it is, guess what? I continue to have no time and not sleep well. How much more productive would it be to bring these issues to God, place them in His hands and instead of complaining or declaring the problems again with my tongue, use my tongue to glorify God by reciting a scripture which says "God will supply all my needs" or "The Lord gives sleep to those He loves"

Now, please don't misunderstand me, I'm not an advocate of "name it, claim it". All I'm saying is it's obvious from scripture that our tongues are powerful. God hates complaining and criticizing and anything that hurts someone else, shows a lack of faith, or spurns His grace, so let's use our tongues wisely, to build each other up, to speak positive words and to glorify God.

Happy talking!


  1. Greetings Mary Lu,

    I was searching for the scripture verse on the power of life and death and I came across your blog. Thanks for the reminder that God has indeed given us this awesome ability to speak life over and into ourselves and our situations.

    Be blessed,
    Tiffany T.

  2. MaryLu,
    Thank you for writing this. It is very well written and eye opening.
    God Bless You,
    Gary M