Matthew 8:1-13; Exodus 39:1-40:38; Proverbs 18
There is so much power in the words we speak. Just the way we choose our words can make the same content in a sentence appear to be a compliment or an insult. “You’re a vision of loveliness,” sounds much better than, “you’re a sight.” Too often we don’t realize how powerful our words are and we say something cruel, even in jest, that brands and labels people in ways we never meant to. We need to remember that what we say has consequences for good or bad.
Solomon pointed that truth out when he said, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” As a teacher I have to be very careful how I talk to my students. Cruel words spoken in anger when a child is rude or disrespectful may make the student even more difficult to deal with. At their young age, while they won’t say it out loud, they take to heart what adults say to them. In some cases I have used my tongue in a bad way and I end up having problems with that student for a long while. At other times, I have found ways to build up students that were having difficulties in other classes and I have had students work for me that wouldn’t work for other teachers. In essence, as teachers we ate the fruit of how we dealt with our students.
When we realize the power we have with our words we will choose them more carefully. I know that I have to watch what I say because I grew up knowing how to cut people down and was quite an expert at that process. As I have grown closer to God, I realize that I should be building all people up, not just my students. I don’t always do that. With those that I build up, I usually have good relationships. With those that I forget and revert back to my earlier days, I tend to have difficulties. We do eat the fruit we plant with our tongues.