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A Matter of Life and Death

I have learned something in my decades of relationships on this earth: Words are powerful, and they have consequences.

Words have always set events into motion. Often what we have read about in our history books or experienced in our own lives came about because of someone’s speech. Combative words have sparked wars, bringing about death and destruction. Soothing words have calmed souls, quieted hearts, and prevented potentially volatile situations from escalating and producing dire consequences. Encouraging words have imparted bravery and empowered doubting souls to accomplish what they never dreamed they could. Loving words have birthed relationships and bonded soulmates.

Can you think back on your own life and find evidence of the power and lasting impact of words someone said either to or about you? I know I can. These phrases echo in the chambers of my mind and recall for me either pain and sorrow or love and inspiration.

Words are powerful and they have consequences. The consequences may be stellar—or sorrowful. They may be amazing—or awful. They may make an impact on lives for the better—or affect souls for the worse. We can use our speech—both spoken and written—for good or for evil. Our words can bring life-giving refreshment or deal a deathblow. Words can be warmth or a weapon. How we wield them will affect not only our relationship with others, but our relationship with God.

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Proverbs 18:21

Reflect: Read Proverbs 18:21. When have someone’s words powerfully impacted your life for good? When have words dealt a devastating blow?

Pray: Invite God to heighten your awareness of the power of your words; seek his help in being conscious of this power as you speak to others throughout the day.

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