Tag Archives: the power of life and death are in the tongue

Life Giving Wells

When I was in high school, I went on my first mission trip. We went to a small village in Mexico to finish building a church and to host its opening service. About a month before we went, we got word that a donkey had fallen into their well and died. They were unable to get it out for several days. Their water was tainted and undrinkable. When they finally got it out, they had to drain the well and let it fill back up. Until then, they had to find other ways to get water into the village. I remember visiting that well on our visit. We stood around it and marveled how deep it was. I also remember praying over that well that it would continue to provide life giving water to that village.

Wells are a source of life, and so are the words you put into your mind. The Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. It also tells us that we are what we think. It’s important that you and I guard what we allow into our minds. From books, to news, to movies, to people we hang out with, the words they speak are either giving you life or death. They are either edifying you or tearing you down. Their words reverberate in our minds and become the things we think about. We wouldn’t knowingly drink poisonous water, so why would we knowingly put detrimental words into our mind?

Proverbs 13:14 says, “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, so, no more drinking from death-tainted wells!” (MSG) If we’re going to change our lives, we’re going to have to change what wells we allow ourselves to drink from. We need to be more cautious about what we allow into our minds so that the thoughts we dwell on are life giving ones. If we drink from life giving wells, then we ourselves can become life giving wells for others. Pay attention to the wells you’re drinking from and ask yourself if they’re a death tainted well or a life giving one. Change where your thoughts come from and you’ll change your life.

Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

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Being A Fountain Of Life

Recently I was talking to a group of people on the Importance of the words you use when talking to yourself. Many times when we mess up, we pound ourself on the head and say something like, “Stupid!” It’s not good to do that. The more you say something, the more it gets into your subconscious. The more it gets in there, the more you believe it, and we always act according to what we believe. So it’s critical that we are intentional about the words we use because they determine our success in life.

It’s also a good habit to consider the words we use when we talk to others. Are we more apt to lifting up or putting down? This one is tougher for me to follow. It’s natural for me to quickly take a shot at someone rather than to intentionally build them up. It requires using a filter and repetitively replacing positive words for the negative ones. Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life and his words of wisdom are a source of blessing” (AMP). Are the words you use a fountain of life to yourself and others?

There really is the power of life and death in the tongue. According to James, none of us will ever tame it completely. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make sure we are a fountain of life, wisdom and blessings. The words you use today towards yourself and others are important. You can choose from millions of words to speak into someone’s life including your own. Choose to speak life. Choose to be a blessing rather than a curse. Watch and see how your words can change someone’s day or how they see themselves. The life you change just might be your own.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

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A Life Giving Well


Several years ago, when I was going through a rough time and was barely hanging on, my Sunday School teacher and his wife spoke life into me. Week after week, I’d show up for class and he would say, “I’ve been praying for you this week. I feel like God wants you to read this verse.” Or he would say, “As I was seeking the Lord for you this week, God spoke this to me for you.” When the voice in my head wanted to end things, I would remember those verses or what God spoke through him and keep going.

His words and prayers were life to me. I looked forward to going to Sunday School each week because I knew that he would have something for me. I needed the life giving words that he would show up with. I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:21 that says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (MSG). I’m thankful that he chose words that give life. He could have easily condemned me, but he didn’t. 

Another proverb I love is Proverbs 10:11. It says, “The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well, but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.” These verses always make me question what words I choose to use. Am I speaking life from a deep well or death from a dark cave? It’s one or the other and we get to choose. Today, find someone and speak words of life to them. You never know if they’re just barely hanging on and need the encouragement like I did. 

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Choosing Words Of Life

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot” by Kurt Bubna. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

My friend, who is a missionary in Haiti, was talking to me about the orphans he’s helped rescue. He was telling me about one of the new children who was abandoned along with her siblings and left in their home to fend for themselves. She is paralyzed and was lying in her own filth naked when they rescued her. When they got her to the orphanage, the ladies and children referred to her as the crippled girl. They would ask, “Can you bring the cripple over here so we can feed her?” They would say, “Take the cripple outside so she can watch the other kids play.”

He told them, “Her name is Cassandra. Call her by her name, not her disability.” He was met with some resistance because it’s their culture to call people by their disability. Before you get all upset, it’s in our culture too. When we look in the mirror, we don’t always see a child of God. We see someone who is too fat, not good enough or a failure. When we look at our reflection, our mind says, “You need to lose weight. You won’t get the job. You will never amount to anything.” We sit in judgement of ourselves and affect our own attitude about life and God.

We also label other people. “He’s such a liar. Why is she such a drama queen?” We talk about them to other people and tear them down. It’s not just our culture, it’s our sinful nature. It’s bred into us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” There is great power in the words we speak towards ourselves or towards others. We don’t always think of them as bringing life or death, but that’s what this proverb tells us. It concludes with, “You choose.” We have the power to speak life into the person in the mirror and to others.

One day, Jesus was teaching in the temple and a group of Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus. “Adulterer!”, they screamed out. They looked at Jesus and said, “Moses and the law give us the right to stone this woman to death. What do you say?” Jesus looked down and began to draw in the dirt. They insisted on an answer from Him. After all, she was labeled as an adulterer. Jesus looked past her failure and up at them. He said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” With that, He began to draw in the dirt again. When He looked back up, it was just the woman standing there. He asked where the people who had labeled her were. Jesus smiled and said, “Didn’t even one of them condemn you? Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

We don’t know what Jesus was drawing on the ground. Was He drawing out the sins of the men wanting to stone her? Was He writing out the positive things about this woman where only she could read them? What we do know is that He didn’t let sin, failure or labels to define this woman. He didn’t let others define her that way either. We need to follow that example. When you see that person staring at you in the mirror, speak positive things about them. “There stand a princess of the King of Kings. There is someone who is the temple of God. There is someone who is just the way God made them.” Change the words you use about yourself and others and you will change everything. You can choose to speak life.

You set yourselves up to judge according to the flesh by what you see. You condemn by external, human standards. I do not set Myself up to judge or condemn or sentence anyone. (John 8:15 AMP)

If you would like to win “Epic Grace” by Kurt Bubna, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (April 5, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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