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Your words kill or heal.

You have the power of life and death, did you know that? That’s what the Book says. Right there in Proverbs 18:21. James also talks about the power of that little organ within us, so tiny comparatively speaking, and so mighty.

Words. That’s what we’re talking about. (It’s not about how well you can lick a lollipop or an ice cream cone.) It’s the words that come from you. Of course, we’re told that the things that come from our mouths are what is in our hearts, and God warns us that we must be careful. Edward Bulwer-Lytton said the pen is mightier than the sword. Power.

You don’t see it, huh? Okay, let’s talk.

We don’t knock people over with words, it’s true. However, we can speak life and truth into someone and watch them flourish, or we can speak death and lies into someone and watch them wither. IKEA did an experiment that shows this in action. You can see it here. Take a minute and view it then come back.

All across the globe are people have suffered what we call emotional abuse. I am one. To hear – even in subtle ways – that you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, unloved, unliked, unworthy, not trusted, not trustworthy, useless, and other words like these takes a toll, even unto death. Maybe not physical death, but death of the spirit, mind, and soul — three-fourths of the person gone. There are people we see every day who are walking around physically alive but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally dead — because of words.

Conversely, people who have been told they are enough, they are worthy, smart, handsome, pretty, trustworthy, needed, and loved are people whose spirit, mind, and soul are alive and thriving.

In this time of Internet and social media, the tongue works its power through our fingertips with the same incredible power.

Here’s the thing: what each person learns, they pass on. There’s power in that tongue to move beyond this generation to the next and the one after that.

God has given us a mind to use, yet far too often we let that tool of life or death run wild without the mind engaged. That’s never good. We should always take a beat to think before we speak. Believers should take that breath to ask God if what they’re about to say is worthy, to examine if it is uplifting (Ephesians 4:29), then if it doesn’t measure up, leave it unsaid.

What we say matters. Even when said in jest. Many an insult has been delivered as wit. The sting may take a bit longer to be felt, yet it is just as deadly.

Let’s choose to speak life today. Let’s choose to type life today. Let’s choose to engage our minds before our tongues. And let’s watch to see what speaking life does for those to whom we speak.


Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!