I love books and I love words. Both have tremendous power, don’t they? A few well-placed words can set the course of a day or even a lifetime, can bring a smile or tears, healing or pain, comfort or despair. The writer of the book of Proverbs reminds us that: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21KJV. Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible puts it this way: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”
I’ve been thinking about this and all the words I speak and hear in the course of a day, too many to count or even imagine, they just have a way of rolling off my tongue. It’s easy to not give much thought to the kind of fruit that words bear – fruit: something sweet and nourishing to the body and soul.
My prayer for you today (and for myself) is that we will choose our words carefully and that they will bring life to all who hear them. And even if hard words are necessary (and inevitably, they sometimes are), I pray that they will be fueled with the kind of grace that takes into account the humanity of the listener(s) – their life and who they are and all that might be going on with them.
And my prayer also is that we both will hear the words of God calling us the Beloved, the Forgiven, Peacemaker, Friend of Neighbor, Justice Bearer, Lover of Enemies, Repairer of the Breach, Salt, Light, Encourager, on, and on. And that upon hearing, we will live into these words more faithfully and claim our true identity and our place in the world. Let us always choose life, my friend.
Grace and peace,