Say What?

Proverb 18: 20 – 21          Tree of Life Version

From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled – with the harvest of his lips he is satisfied. Death and life are in the control of the tongue. Those who indulge in it will eat its fruit.

Of all the challenging things we are instructed about, bridling our mouths is the most difficult. It is also extremely important. Not only are life and death hanging in the balance, but our provision is constantly affected by the things we say.

To be fair, there is some debate regarding the importance of our words. Some believe that words only have power when they are charged by belief. I completely agree that the synergy between your heart and mind is as an amplifier. However, this passage does not equivocate nor make exception so while I agree about the heart/mind connection, I would warn about taking this verse lightly. I believe it means what it says, and that Solomon knew of what he wrote. Take it at face value and make your language comport to your desires.

One of the reasons I believe this is so important is that your mind hears the stupid things your mouth says. Your mind does not distinguish between careless foolishness and intelligent affirmation. It believes everything you say. If you say your toe hurts long enough you may begin to believe it. If you consistently confess something about yourself, whether or not it is a factual statement, it may become true because you will convince your heart of its veracity.

Second, what you say other people have a right and propensity to believe. If you put yourself down, whether a person agrees intellectually, they are likely to be influenced by those ideas. You are going to make it true by repeating it.

Third, there is an entire spiritual realm that none of us fully understands. In that realm, God spoke and created. We do understand that right now, even though we are seated on earth, we are also connected with the spiritual realm. It is a part of life on earth. It is the Kingdom. Jesus taught us that one of the ways to interact in the Kingdom is through our words (Mark 11: 24 – 25). When you read that passage you will find that what you believe when you speak is important, vitally important, but he said to speak to the mountain, and it would move. He was showing us the power of our words.

I am not trying to argue with anyone about the importance of belief. We are looking for truth. There is no value in being right, only in God’s truth. I am, however, trying to get us to take seriously the things we say. Saying that you are “scared to death” certainly has no positive value. Right? You can argue it won’t kill you, but I will argue it does not add anything positive to your life. Further, it just makes sense to me that a person wouldn’t speak death over their life or body.

Words are power vessels. Use them with wisdom and discretion. Anything else would seem foolish.