Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
In Ancient Rome the spectators of gladiatorial fights had the privilege of determining whether a victorious warrior would kill his injured opponent. Those in the stands would gesture with their thumb to vote for life or death, and the gladiator would respond by either throwing down his sword or using it to finish off his opponent. What tremendous and frightful power these Ancient Roman crowds had over the lives of others.
Much like those spectators of Ancient Rome, we also have a tremendous power over the lives of others. Did you know that every time we open our mouths to speak, we have an opportunity to choose life or death? Yes, life and death lies in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).
We can carefully choose words of life that will bring love, encouragement, joy, comfort, relief, peace, kindness, gentleness and/or understanding to those around us. Or we can choose words of death that bring hatred, criticism, harshness, deceit, flattery, slander, lies and/or gossip to others. Our words can either heal or kill. Proverbs 15:4 says:
Gentle words are a tree of life;
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
The good news is that as believers, we don’t have to tame the tongue all by ourselves. The Bible teaches that we have a Helper called the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. He is God’s spirit, and He knows what we’re going to say before we say it (Psalm 139:4). God can help us choose life rather than death by helping us to tame our tongues. Let’s ask him for help with this tremendous task so that we can bring life to everyone around us.
Think About: Have my words recently brought “death” rather than “life” to someone around me? Could I repair this damage by confessing my sin and asking that person’s forgiveness?
Pray: Father God, you know the tremendous power that lies within my mouth. You also know that my mouth speaks out of the overflow of my heart, so I’m asking you to cleanse my heart and renew my mind. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer. Thank you Father God for the work you are doing in me.