The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Our words can get us into trouble or they can dissolve trouble—like warm breath on a lit candle—apologetic words can easily extinguish a heart simmering with anger. “Please forgive me, I was emotionally spent and did not mean to hurt you with my disrespectful tone.” Language brings life when a life is immersed in Christ, or it brings death when a life is indifferent to the resurrected life of Christ. Only when our words are first baptized in the waters of worship to God will we be able to bring a proper sacrifice of speech to the Lord’s altar of healing. Words matter.
The power of the tongue must be tamed under the power of the Holy Spirit or else it becomes a weapon of mass destruction. Not in the manner of a nuclear explosion, but in a similar way—as sinister speech poisons the atmosphere, so what’s inhaled into the heart shuts down the spirit. So, what does it mean to eat the fruit of measured conversations? Love of language that gives life— receives from its recipient, God, or both—a reciprocal life-giving hydration to a thirsty soul. “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45).
If my heart is full of pride—my words are laced with a verbal arsenic of judgment and snobbish superiority. If my heart is full of humility—my speech is seasoned with grace and mercy. If my heart is consumed with fear—I communicate worry and dread. If my heart is captivated by hope in Christ—I experience peace and the courage to speak expectantly of God’s faithfulness. If my heart hurts from neglect—I shamelessly shame another. But if my heart is comforted by the Lord’s love—I have the capacity to give words of comfort. The fruit of healthy words is healing.
What is the condition of your heart? Are you capable of caring conversations, because your conscious is clear? Or, are you set up for self centered speech, since your soul is cluttered with unresolved issues? Empty self and Christ will fill your heart with forgiveness, love and kindness. He will fill your mouth with fruitful words of encouragement, correction and compassion. By God’s grace be a Jesus follower whose words bring life to the soul and death to sin!