21Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. - Proverbs 18:21
I was asked my opinion on a certain subject that, for now, I'll not elaborate upon. I hesitated knowing that I could not speak in glowing terms. I knew my words could affect others. My audience was a modest one, nevertheless, words are words and they do have power.
I gave my opinion worried that there would be repercussions that I was not prepared for. And people-pleaser that I am, I was worried about how my words would affect others' perception of me.
Someone closely connected to the situation contacted me concerning the matter. While this person was concerned, he was also polite. I was relieved, but dreaded further contact. Again, his words had power. And the thought of more words over the situation was not a pleasant one. Even if it was to "make the situation right."
Certainly there are many examples of how that verse in Proverbs affects our lives. How we talk to our children. How we respond to our spouses. What we whisper behind our hand to the mom next to us at our sons' soccer game. A story we share via our own blog. Discussing another couple's marital troubles over dinner with our friends.
Most situations we come across do not involve an actual death. But what about the death of a possible friendship? How about the death of the spirit of our children?
How about the death of an opportunity to witness or to be a good example of God's love?
May we be ever mindful that death and life are in the power of the tongue.