Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, October 4, 2016
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses” (Proverbs 10:11–12, NLT).
The imagery here is incredible. I’m not sure who said that words cannot hurt, but they apparently never heard shouting matches in violent households, the “N-word” thrown around like it’s nothing, or a woman being told that she will never amount to anything. Whoever said it apparently never experienced the cold, hard stare of an abuser who with clenched teeth said to the one he claims to love four out of seven days per week, “I hate the very ground you walk on and wish you’d just die!” Sticks-n-stones do hurt, and so do certain words. The power of life and death are in the tongue.
Let’s talk about words of life, shall we? Our Creator spoke much of what we can and cannot see into existence. He spoke, and dry land appeared. He spoke, and the heavens were aglow with sun, moon, and stars. He spoke, and the seas teemed with all manner of creatures. Jesus spoke, and those with faith in Him were healed. He declared that He loves us with an everlasting love. He promised that He would return to rescue His people from this old earth one day (soon).
We, too, can participate in positive, healing speech. We can tell our spouses how much we love them, rather than threatening them for not doing what we say. We can smile and give compliments to our family members instead of cursing them with words we should never voice. We can tell others how great God has been to us when He mended our broken relationships. We can choose love instead of violence.
Speak hope. Communicate joy. Inspire courage.