Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death”(NIV)
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”(NIV)
Proverbs 15:4 “Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.” (The Message)
In my life time I have witnessed and experienced the extremely negative power of the tongue through discouragement, but I am blessed to have also experienced the wonderful power of the tongue through encouragement. The power that the tongue holds amazes me in that what we say can bring either life or death to a person’s spirit.
We all have beliefs about ourselves stored in our minds but how did they get there? I believe that those beliefs are established mostly through what we have heard repeatedly throughout our childhood.
I grew up repeatedly hearing from an elderly relative that I was “big”, which is entirely accurate – I’m 184cm tall and not of a small build - but the way in which this was said to me was never a matter of fact kind of way. It was said as a put down, in comparison to my cousins who were smaller than me.
I think that one of the first ways that the tongue can be destructive is through comparing one person to another. God has made us all uniquely different, but I don’t believe that that difference is something that should be seen, or spoken of, as being a negative thing. God created me as I am!
One thing that I decided many years ago was that I wasn’t ever going to say negative things to people about their appearance but was going to instead try and build people up - finding the beauty in people and telling them what I saw. So many of our beliefs about ourselves are based on what others say, so why not speak out about the positive things we see and help make the messages that other people are hearing uplifting, and positive?
I truly believe that if we see something we like, or something beautiful in someone we should tell them. If we don’t they might never see it in themselves.