Life and Death is in the Toungue (FMF)

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“You’re fat!”
“You’re jolly!”
“You’re stupid!”
“You learn uniquely, see things differently, and we can glean a lot from your perspective.”
“You’re too hyper!”
“You’re energy and perseverance is a gift.  You will make a difference in the world one day!”

“The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.  ”
Proverbs 18:21 NIV

Words build us up.  Words tear us down.  Words are tied into our perspective and how we see people.  When I look at a child refusing to obey their parent do I see a stubborn brat or do I see a child who is perseverant and just needs help guiding that trait into a positive direction?  When my child is arguing with me do a see an insolent child or a child that needs a little help in honing their negotiation skills?  How will I choose to react to that child?  Will I answer negatively and reactively or positively and proactively?  The choice of how I view the situation and use my tongue is up to me.

How do I use my tongue?  Do I use it to build other’s up by speaking life into them and encouraging them or do I use it to tear others down by using cutting words?  Do I speak words that bring life to the souls of others or do I bring death?  Do I gossip about others?  Do you find fault in them?  Or can I look past the weaknesses in others and see their giftings, and point those out, helping to sow into them, water them, so that one day they will blossom and bear good fruit?

When I started this blog my goal was for it to bring encouragement to others.  I know from experience how difficult life can be.  As someone who struggles (often silently) with depression, anxiety, and fear of failure, I know how powerful words are whether they are spoken by others for oneself.  Let’s vow to speak life-giving words.  Words that build others up rather than tear them down.  Words that encourage rather than discourage.  Words that bring life and hope rather than death and despair.

The picture that I posted above (Ignore my reflection in the glass 😉 LOL) is a watercolor painting that I made to go with the attached poem, The Snake, that I wrote awhile back. (The link is below.)  Though I don’t feel like I paint well, I continue to paint because I find it relaxing.  It doesn’t matter if the picture is perfect or museum worthy.  What matters is that I am doing something that is fun to me.  I do it for me. I enjoy it.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Find something that you enjoy doing even if you don’t feel like you do it well.  Tell yourself that it doesn’t matter how others see it.  What matters is that you enjoy it and it’s relaxing to you.  🙂  Speak words of encouragement to yourself.  You are worth it!

Feel free to read some poems that I wrote on this subject:
The Snake
Thoughtless Words


Today’s post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Speak

(For Five minute Friday we “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.” (Quote from FMF site.)


8 thoughts on “Life and Death is in the Toungue (FMF)

  1. Thank you for sharing, Sue! I once did an experiment with some of my students, telling them a bunch of phrases fairly quickly, both positive and negative. When I asked them to repeat them to me, they could mostly remember the negative ones. These go deep.
    So thanks for the reminder to use our tongue wisely.
    Happy Friday, your FMF neighbour

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Katha. I read somewhere that it takes five compliments to counter balance one negative remark. Once a word is out of our mouths we can never ever take it back and it could affect the other person for the rest of their lives. For example, I was told by a teacher when I was in elementary school that I couldn’t write. I still fight against that belief to this day. 😥 I’m sure that she would be horrified to know that something she said in the heat of frustration has stuck with me for that long. That just cements the fact that I need to be very careful with my word choices when I speak to others especially children.


  2. I agree, words are powerful and we have to use them carefully. I think often we remember the negative words but the positive ones can have a lot of power too. A word of encouragement is so easy to speak but it can make a big difference for the person on the receiving end. I like your reminder that we need to speak word of encouragement to ourselves too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your words are so wise. I had to think of the song “Wonderful Words of Life”.
    God speaks words of life to us, we in turn can speak words of life to others. I like the painting, it is colorful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I know, Andrew. I have found that it’s so hard to repair the damage of a word spoken too hastily or in a fit of anger. That word is out there forever often replaying over and over in the reciever’s head. 😥


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