By Megan Evans, Crosswalk.com
Speaking Life with Fruitful Words
By Megan Evans
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” -- Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
If you were to record every word that you spoke for an entire day and then played it back to yourself, what message would you hear? Would you hear life-giving speech or words full of negativity, criticism, and gossip? I don’t know about you, but depending on the day, I might be glad I was the only one listening to that recap. We aren’t perfect, and it’s easy for words to slip out before we think, but this proverb reminds us that our words matter.
Taking a quick inventory of our conversations not only points us to the power of the tongue but also to the fruit of its words. Who wants to eat rotten fruit all day? Yet without even realizing it, the words we say and hear can begin to negatively affect how we feel about ourselves, others, and even our world. Likewise, we may even be inadvertently shaping the thoughts of others.
Careless and complacent words may seem irrelevant, but our words matter to God, to others, and even to ourselves. Instead of spoilage, we have the choice to speak with healthy and delicious words that leave behind the aroma of Christ every single day. And when we do, we will not only speak life into others but ourselves too. The Bible is God’s Living Word, and when we live out and speak its message, the world gets a taste of Jesus. As it says in Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Our tongue is also an important part of our testimony, mission field, and ministry. In order to change the fruit that our words produce, we have to start by planting healthy seeds. When we feast upon God’s Word daily, we will receive essential nourishment for our body, mind, and soul, as well as delicious and healthy fruit we can offer to others. We’ve all spoken words that we wish we could take back, and it is here in God’s love and grace that we will find forgiveness for unloving words and fresh new mercies for our tongue.
Do you find it hard to control what comes out of your mouth? Me too! Humans might be able to tame animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, yet James 3:8 reminds us that the tongue has yet to be mastered. This sounds a bit like a losing battle for us, so what do we do? Is there hope for the fruit of life-giving words over death?
Thankfully, a Child of God never has to choose defeat or settle for less than God’s best. Yes, we will remain in a battle for control over our tongue for the rest of our lives. Yet, as we lean into the counsel and teaching of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to cultivate wise and winning words. Victory over any sin begins by asking God for help.
When we surrender our life to Jesus, He becomes Lord over every area of our life--and this means He will lead us and show us how to speak, what to speak, and when to speak. Praise God!
Therefore, we can ask God then for awareness of words that are not pleasing to Him, and we can ask God to grow the fruit of His Holy Spirit in us instead. Daily, let’s begin feasting on the fruit of God’s Living Word. Let’s store up so much of this treasure that it begins to spill over and pour from our mouth. Today, let’s choose to speak words of life.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Take a moment and inventory your speech today. Are your words uplifting? Or is your speech opinionated and quick to criticize? If there are rotting words present, freedom awaits. Ask God to reveal the fruit of your speech today. Repent of any unkind words that were spoken, and apologize to anyone whom your words may have hurt.
Begin sowing seeds of life-giving words instead. Here are three ideas to get you started:
- Tell someone about a Bible verse that has made an impact on your heart recently.
- Turn a conversation away from gossip by interjecting complimentary words instead.
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself one truth that God says about you—for starters, try reading Psalm 139:14.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Povozniuk
Megan Evans is a military wife, and a mother to three wonderful teenagers. She and her family live in Tennessee where she serves as the women’s ministry director at her church. An author and blogger with a heart for discipleship; she writes, speaks, and teaches women about enjoying God in each busy day. Check out her new book, “Permission to Walk: A 40-Day Journey to Unhurried Peace” and learn the daily pace of life that Jesus taught as we daily navigate this distracted and fast-paced world. You can connect with Megan at www.unhurrymyheart.com, www.instagram.com/megan.m_