Daily Devotionals

Mix Tape Week 4 Friday

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21

The book of James teaches us that although the tongue is small, it is unbelievably powerful (James 3:5). We may live our lives believing that our words do not affect other people, but make no mistake, our words have power. They can encourage, and they can discourage. They can give life, or they can give death. Our words have a profound impact on others. This truth is very important to understand in marriage. If you are married, you have the opportunity to impact your spouse with your words. You have the opportunity to build them up or tear them down. The question is, will you impact them for the better or worse with the words you say? 

Proverbs chapter 18 shows us just how powerful our words are. In this chapter, we read that “the tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (verse 21). We can speak life or death with our words; it is our choice. One thing is certain, when we speak hurtful words to others, especially in marriages, we are only hurting, and sometimes destroying, our relationships. But, on the other hand, when we speak life, we can build others up and strengthen our relationships.  

You have a choice today: Will you be a person who speaks life or death? Will you build up your marriages, friendships, and other relationships, or will you tear them down? Let’s be people committed to using our words to speak life in every relationship we have. Do not be mistaken; your words have power. 

Moving Toward Action

You may never know the impact your words have on others. If you choose to accept it, your assignment today is to say something positive to at least three people today. If you are married, make sure to include your spouse in this assignment! As you think about who you can build up with your words, remember the incredible power that your words can have. They are not empty words. They have the potential to bring life if you let them.

Going Deeper

Proverbs 18:1-24 (NLT)

Unfriendly people care only about themselves;

they lash out at common sense.

Fools have no interest in understanding;

they only want to air their own opinions.

Doing wrong leads to disgrace,

and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

Wise words are like deep waters;

wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

It is not right to acquit the guilty

or deny justice to the innocent.

Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;

they are asking for a beating.

The mouths of fools are their ruin;

they trap themselves with their lips.

Rumors are dainty morsels

that sink deep into one’s heart.

A lazy person is as bad as

someone who destroys things.

The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;

the godly run to him and are safe.

The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;

they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

Haughtiness goes before destruction;

humility precedes honor.

Spouting off before listening to the facts

is both shameful and foolish.

The human spirit can endure a sick body,

but who can bear a crushed spirit?

Intelligent people are always ready to learn.

Their ears are open for knowledge.

Giving a gift can open doors;

it gives access to important people!

The first to speak in court sounds right—

until the cross-examination begins.

Flipping a coin can end arguments;

it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.

Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Wise words satisfy like a good meal;

the right words bring satisfaction.

The tongue can bring death or life;

those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,

and he receives favor from the Lord.

The poor plead for mercy;

the rich answer with insults.

There are “friends” who destroy each other,

but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.