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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Power of Life and Death

by Jill Southern

The tongue has the power of life and death.
Proverbs 18:21, NIV

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I wonder if this was said when you were a child. How untrue it proves to be! Our words have huge power. We can all go back and remember when somebody’s words have deeply cut and wounded us, and thankfully too we can remember significant words which have deeply inspired and breathed life into us.

The words in our past somehow echo in our present and shape our lives today, and in the same way words that we speak to others can shape their lives too. Our words can communicate love and value, inspire confidence, and bring healing, or they can disrupt unity, spread mistrust and wound deeply.

Proverbs 12:25 says ‘worry weighs a person down, but an-encouraging word cheers a person up’. The ministry of encouragement is so important. We can bless people with the right sensitive words. Your tone and the kind of words you use make all the difference. We have to think, not only about the words themselves, but also about how we deliver them.

Nothing is as powerful as your tongue. Do you know the average tongue only weighs two and a half ounces, but it’s power knows no limits? God wants to use your tongue as His instrument. Think about all the spiritual gifts that use the tongue. We have all been in those moments when someone lobbed a hand grenade into the conversation, or you said something and immediately regretted it. In that moment we can either diffuse the situation or aggravate it by our words. Proverbs 15:1 says, ‘A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare’ (NLT).

We have to be able to inject words into a situation that bring healing and peace. Sometimes the best use of words is not to use them at all. Just because we can say something, doesn’t mean we should. Proverbs 10:19 says, ‘Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut’ (NLT). Let’s meditate today on ‘May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you my Lord and my redeemer’ (Psalm 19:14).

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to choose my words carefully, especially when I’m busy, that I may speak life and blessings into the people You’ve placed around me. Help me to think carefully about the words I speak today before I say them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jill Southern is the founder of Ellel Ministries Pierrepont and directed the work for 21 years. She has recently stood down from that role but still teaches on the NETS programme and has the passion to train and equip God`s people to fully walk in their destiny and calling. She is the Regional Director for Ellel Ministries International in South East Asia and China and is also on the Executive Leadership of the ministry.

 

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