Key Verse: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
“I’m fat.” “I can’t get a job.” “I can’t do anything right!” “I’ll never get out of debt.” “Prince Charming is lost and can’t find the way to the castle.”
I repeatedly hear comments such as these coming from faithful Christians and have been guilty of declaring some of them myself. Poisonous statements that we often say without a second thought. Death and defeat that we carelessly speak into our own lives…
It may just be that we have grown up hearing them and therefore simply continue a “family tradition” of self-deprecation. Or it may be caused by insecurities and low self-esteem. Or it may just be a bad habit.
Last week I wrote about the power of God’s Word. We certainly cannot ever forget how incredibly powerful His Word is to destroy strongholds and defeat the enemy in our lives. But today I would like to challenge us to think about another powerful weapon we possess: Our tongue. This little member can be used as a mighty tool to help us build a bright future or, when used negatively, it has the power to build walls that separate us from God’s very best for us.
“From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.” James 3:10-12
Several messages and entire books have been dedicated to the fact that we can destroy a child’s future with the words we send their way. Or to the fact that marriages would be restored if husbands and wives were more careful to restrain their tongues. But what about the blessings and curses that we declare upon our own lives with the words we use? James teaches us that our tongues have the power to alter our destiny: We cannot expect to reap figs if we plant vines. Likewise, we cannot expect to reap blessings if our tongues declare words of defeat into our lives.
In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, make a case for the fact that words can literally change your brain. They write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” “By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”
Don’t you just love when modern science confirms what God’s Word has declared for centuries? Indeed, long before scientists were able to measure the effects of words and thoughts in our brain structures, God’s messengers had already declared the result of negative words in our lives.
Going A Little Deeper
We can talk all day about the effect of negative words in our brain’s frontal lobe or the positive effects of positive speech in our brain activity. But the fact of the matter is, you and I know that God is more concerned about the reasons why we may be self-destructive in our speech.
If you find yourself saying the same negative things over and over again, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what is really going on…
Could it be that you don’t feel worthy of God’s love? Or maybe you have believed the devil’s lies that you have heard repeatedly as a child? Could it be that you are connecting your worth with material or physical attributes and forgetting who you really are in Christ? Or maybe you are following your parent’s footsteps of self-deprecation and defeat…
Whatever the reason, God is faithful to reveal it to you. More importantly, He is faithful to enable you to overcome it, in Jesus’ Name! If only you choose to believe what God’s Word says about you:
You are beautiful. Accepted. Loved.
You are able. Victorious. A Conqueror. Royalty even!
You have the River of Life running through you. Let its Truth come out of your mouth. Let it bless you.
And the next time you feel tempted to speak death into your life, bite your tongue. Instead, say:
“I am beautiful.” “God has never forsaken me.” “I can do all things through Christ.” “God prospers me.” “I can’t wait to meet my prince!” Or princess
Choose to Speak Life!