Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
Proverbs goes so far as to say that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). How are you using your power towards others?
“Mommy, your beautiful. I love you.” These words could start my day of with a smile and joy. The same child on another day might say, “I hate you. I wish you weren’t my mom!” These words could sink down into my soul and up would surface doubts, remorse, and self-condemnation.
My words to my children or others around me will affect their day as well. For small children, words are laying down a foundation of self-conscience thoughts that will affect them for the rest of their lives. How important is it that your words uplift and encourage rather than tear down and brutalize? It is a question of life and death to your listener. Count your words carefully. Matthew 12:37 say, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Words of life:
- Words of affirmation that the person is important to you because of their relationship with you, not because of actions. Ex: “I’m so glad I married you. You’re the best husband ever!” Or “I’m so glad God gave you to me.”
- Words of worth that let the person know that they are valued. Ex: “I don’t know what I would do without you to talk to.” Or “My life would be missing a big piece if you weren’t in it!”
- Words of encouragement that they will get through what is ahead of them or that they did a good job. Ex. “Well done!” or “Boy, if anyone can do that, you sure can. God has equipped you specifically for that job!”
- Words of pleasure that let them know that you enjoy being with them. Ex. “I was hoping you would wake up soon, I was looking forward to spending the day with you!” or “When are you getting home from work? I can’t wait to hear about your day!”
- Words of discipline that the person should have done something differently. Ex. “I know you tried really hard on that paper. Now listen closely to the instructions and try again.” Or “That was a dumb thing to do. Let’s figure out what you can do to make it right.”
Words of death:
- Words of condemnation of personhood that let the person know that they are no good andhave little worth. Ex. “You are so stupid! I don’t know why I have to be your mom!” Or “You are no good. God made a mistake when He made you!”
- Words of condemnation of actions that the person is not good enough in what he/she does.Ex. “That’s good, but you should have….” or “That’s not right; just let me do it.”
- Words of criticism that are not balanced with praise and affirmation often using words of exaggeration. Ex. “Can’t you ever get things right?” or “You never do what you are told.”
- Words of comparison that tells another that they don’t measure up. Ex. “You will never be as good as So and so.” or “I’ll just let your brother do it. He always gets it right.”
- Words of complaint that whine out your own frustrations. Ex. “You just don’t care about me or you would have….” or “You never do what I want to do.”
God, please give me control over my tongue. Help me to speak words of life to those around me. Convict me and forgive me when my words bring death. Amen.