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“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 CSB

People die because of the words that come out of other people’s mouths.  When the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945 approximately 90,000-146,000 people died over the next 2-4 months from radiation.  Over half of them in the first day. President Harry S. Truman ordered the bomb to be dropped in anticipation of a speedy end to the war.  Three days later another one was dropped on Nagasaki, killing another 40,000 plus people. Within days, Japan surrendered and the war ended.  In 1948, Truman instituted the Marshall Plan, a $15 billion plan that helped Europe rebuild after the war, giving them their lives back. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

We are like Truman, the words that come out of our mouths can cause death or can cause life.  It’s up to us which we choose. Words end marriages or make them flourish. When we are constantly pointing out everything wrong with our spouse, we’re bringing death.  When we focus on all of his good qualities, we are bringing life. The same happens in all of our relationships. The words we use will either build them up or tear them down.  The key to what comes from our mouth starts with what is in our hearts. “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23. I was reminded of this recently in my own life.

The hardest people to love sometimes are those closest to us.  I had been struggling with a family relationship that was stirring up hatred in my heart.  For a Christ loving girl like me, it was a real struggle. I was seeking God, praying hard and keeping my mouth shut, knowing God would guide me through this.  And He did, but in the process I spewed out some of that hatred on a dear friend in a text. Gratefully, she is a woman of grace and love and forgave me. But that moment changed my life.  It made me realize I was filling my heart with hate and I didn’t even know it. Words have power to give life or death. From the well of our heart is where they originate, we have to be sure we’re filling our hearts with love so the words we speak are full of life. 

Fill your hearts with love today by soaking up the presence of God.  Keep the Son squarely in your eyes, remember all He has done. Remembering how Christ forgave me is what helps me forgive others.  When I begin to forgive, hatred is replaced by love. I begin to see the person through Jesus’ eyes. I’m able to pray for them, and yes, even to love them.  I’m able to let my words bring life instead of death. You can do the same too, by filling your heart with Jesus. When you do, your words will always bring life.

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