"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
How often do we carelessly let destructive words slip through our lips, wounding (sometimes fatally) the hopes and dreams of others, robbing them of confidence and making them feel unloved and unwanted?
Why is it that many people actually feel better about themselves when they are able to squash those around them?
I was talking to a man one day who had run into a streak of bad luck.
"I'm a good person," he said. "I live by the Ten Commandments, and I have never committed any crimes. Why isn't God blessing me?"
Although I had no answer for the man, his comments triggered a thinking pattern in my mind that would make me think twice about the words I let come bursting forth from my mouth.
One of the Ten Commandments forbids Christians from murdering anyone. The typical translation for murder is to end someone's physical life; however, the word "murder" has another meaning that I would like to examine.
"To put an end to; destroy" Dictionary.com
Hurtful words certainly have the power to murder or "destroy" a person's dreams by making them think they are not smart enough to carry out the desired task. They have the potential to affect every aspect of a person's life, stabbing a person in the very heart of who they are. And if aimed at a person for too long, these words can begin to eat away at a person's potential. In extreme cases of abuse, hurtful words can cause a person to desire for physical death to come.
I wonder how many of us are guilty of murder, not taking away someone's physical life, but rather robbing a person of confidence, ability and the feeling that he or she belongs somewhere? In a sense, hurtful words have a huge impact on the receiver, and have the power to change a person's life forever!
It is my hope that each one of us would begin to think before we speak, showering those around us with words of a gentler nature.