“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV
I was meditating the other day about some things that have started to either come to life or have died in my life. When I was a new bride, I had an issue with this mouth thing. My new groom and I knew that I had an issue with my mouth, so this was the bulk of most of my prayers then. “Lord please help my mouth.” I was a nagging wife, but tried to act like I was “saying” things in a nice way so it would be masked as inquiries…WRONG.
Over the years, God had to deal with me about my mouth and how I approached my husband. When I said things like “Do you just not get what I am saying?” or “I can’t believe you would do that.” My mouth was casting murder on my husband. Through this death, it didn’t help that we were going through individual emotional problems, financial problems, job problems, and identity problems. Over the years God had to teach me the true underlying issue with taming my mouth. SELF CONTROL and PATIENCE. I had to learn to stop, wait, and think before I said something. One of my spiritual mothers said to me, “Kay, what life are you speaking into your husband.” I couldn’t answer. I’d become so mad over the years because of my judgment of his decisions, different argument style or lack thereof that I didn’t know what to do.
God started showing me, in the midst of our discussions how to approach and respond to my husband. “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 NIV). I started speaking life over my marriage and over my husband. I WAS THE ONE TO PUT THE SUPERMAN “S” ON HIS CHEST. When he made a decision I didn’t like, I waited maybe a day or two before responding. I would take my issue to the Lord for guidance on bridling my tongue. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) My theme scripture mentions he that loves his mouth will eat its fruits. I must say I am definitely eating “fresh” fruits from speaking gently to my husband. The return is one hundred fold.
Not only have I learned how to speak to my husband, but I am a new mom of one daughter. Raising her is all new to me. When I started disciplining her, it was with harsh tones. “You BETTER not do that again, you hear me.” Or “If I have to tell you one more time (screaming at her) I am going to spank you.” I was convicted every time I spoke to her like that because I felt I was depositing deathly correction into her spirit. I walked by her room one day and saw her scolding her dolls. Saying my exact words and in my exact tone, I was heart broken. At that moment, and since then, I’ve learned to provide gentle, stern correction that’s not as irate. Before, I was bearing irate fruit from her. Now that I speak more gently, yet stern, even if the rod is coming afterwards, her spirit is not broken or degraded.
There is life or death in your tongue. You have the right to choose. You can say, “I hate my job”, and you will probably go into work with that attitude, have a bad day, and leave every day feeling defeated. Or, you can wake up saying. “Lord I thank you for giving me a job. Father help me to see the good in it until you see fit for me to move on.” You can tell your spouse, “I really wish you would get your act together”, which will lead to broken spirits, broken communication, and anger. Or you can say, “Honey, I believe in you. I know things may be tough right now, but I am certain (because you prayed) that God will give you the tools you need to move forward and I am backing you 100%.” You could walk around feeling defeated because you hate how you look, your personality, your weight, your hair. Or you could say, “Lord I love me some me. You made me wonderful and until I can see what you see, encourage me to smile, because you made me.” What you say can determine how your entire body reacts. Study James 3.
Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Thank you for this word today teaching me to control my tongue. I want to speak life, not death. I want to be an encourager, not a complainer. Help my mouth of praise carry over into my daily activities and my relationships. I love you for always speaking to me, so please help me to speak to others in a more virtuous way. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Is there an area in your life experiencing a premature death? Your tongue has the power to speak life. I EMPOWER you today to speak life into your dead situation and watch how God multiplies the fruit of it.
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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Huntsville, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter where they attend St. Luke Christian Church.