Speaking Life

“From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; He is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Proverbs 18:20-21

This verse has really been challenging me lately. I have heard this verse a million times but just now it has really become alive to me. I used to look at this verse and apply it to how I talk to others, which is still very important, but when you really look at it, it’s more than that.

I have been convicted about my speech. I have realized just how negative I can be. Nothing is ever good, there is always something wrong. I tend to have something to complain about and I am not afraid to say it out loud. This isn’t something that I kind of struggled with, no, it is something that has been putting me down for a while now and had my husband not pointed it out in the most loving of ways, maybe I would have never noticed. I was eating from the fruit of my mouth which was negative and most definitely not life giving.

If you notice the verse doesn’t say “there is death and life in the power of the tongue when you speak to others or when you talk about yourself” no, it says “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Period. Meaning, everything you say has either life or death attached to it. After realizing this is something I really struggled with and I caught myself about to say something negative but the conviction would hit hard. Many times I even ignored it and talked negatively anyways. I felt ridiculous, like it was an addiction.

As I was really struggling with taming my tongue, I was reading through 1st and 2nd Kings about the story of David. I’m not going to lie, things got personal between me and God. I would sit there in anger and wonder why David was supposed to be a ‘Man After God’s Own Heart’ and yet he did many things that were against the ten commandments. I was mad that David had great treasures and yet still had some of the greatest failures. Truthfully, I was mad because I had felt like God was speaking to everyone else but me while I was trying so hard to do the right thing and others didn’t even want to hear from God, yet they were. I would complain to God, “You say ‘ask and you shall receive’, ‘you want to give us the desires of our hearts’ and yet here I am waiting while you talk to everyone else.”

One morning as I was reading more into David’s story I realized something. Almost every time David spoke, He praised God. The man would get a loaf of bread after being in the wilderness and he would say “God has provided” (those probably wouldn’t have been the first words out of my mouth, not going to lie). I realized that he was a man, an imperfect human, after God’s own heart, chasing God’s heart and giving him the glory for everything, not a man that God just said, “well he is my homie so I will turn a blind eye to all the destruction and still bless him.” no, David was blessed because although he failed, he gave glory to God in every season, never cursing God or leading with a negative spirit, but with a spirit chasing after God and what He wanted for him.

It made me realize that maybe I wasn’t hearing from God because of the words and thoughts that were clouding over me. Maybe God was speaking but I chose to hear the negative. And maybe God was trying to reveal to me that even through our sin and darkness, if we choose to listen, speak life, and actively pursue God above all else, He will give us more than we deserve because He loves us no matter how many things we do wrong.

“Let all you do be done in love” 1 Corinthians 16:14

“..Put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14

Taming the tongue is hard, and I know that it’s something that I struggle with because the devil is afraid of what God will accomplish through me if I choose to put on love, listen to all the life God is speaking into me, and then share living words that lift others up. But, like David, I choose to be a woman actively seeking after God’s own heart.

Is this something you struggle with? How can I be praying for you?

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