Life and Death and the Tongue
by Brett Barry

The tongue has the power of life and death…Prov 18:21

I had a dream in the wee hours of early morning the other day about the power of our words and woke up hearing the phrase in my spirit, “And God saw that it was good.” 

You may recognize this line from the creation account in Genesis where, throughout each act of creation God observed His work and admired it, calling it good. I especially love the end of Chapter One where it says, “God saw all He had made, and behold, it was very good.”

So God spoke, and good things happened. 

Good things. 

Very good things.

There is power in His word, power that produces good things. And He tells us that we possess that same power - the ability to bring life simply through our words. Unfortunately, we also have the ability to tear down, curse and bring death by the words we speak: “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Prov 18:21.

“And God saw that it was good.” When God looks back on what He has built through His words, He sees only that which is good because it aligns with who He is: Holy. Righteous. Truth. Love.

As I ponder this, the question rises in my heart: When I look back on what my words have built, both those I have spoken outwardly and in my heart, what do I see?

While, by God’s grace and power at work in me, I do see some good, I also see a lot of that which is far less than it could be had I spoken only what is good; only that which God would have spoken. Truth is, I need to be not just more careful with my words, but consciously intentional with them, speaking only from that place of being alive in Christ through complete submission to His Spirit in me.

If like Jesus I speak only what the Father says, my words will be words of life. It will require death to self, for my willfulness is indeed…willful, but it will also be life to me and, very importantly, to those around me.

My desire today is to listen carefully before I speak and, yielding to His Spirit in me, say only what the Father would say, delivering words that build up, bless and bring life.

Today, Father God, may I create with my words only that which is pleasing to You. Such that if someone were to one day write about what I’ve built with my words, they would summarize the results with…

“And God saw that it was good.”