The words we say have huge impact for either good or ill. Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue has the power of life and death. Words which we say, write, type, and/or text.
Death words are words that lead towards relational starvation, distancing, harm, and relational death – both with others and with God. God hates death words.
Life words (on the other hand) are words, which lead to relational connection, building, health, intimacy and relational life – both with others and with God.
Here are some thoughts from Proverbs.
1/ Death Words.
Boastful/ proud words
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. Prov. 14:3 and 18:2
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends Prov. 16:28 and 20:19
Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbour. Prov. 25:18
Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Prov. 29:20 and 12:18
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1 and 26:17
2/ Life Words
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Prov. 12:25 and 15:4
A gentle answer turns away wrath, (helping to de-escalate) but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1 and 17:14
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Prov. 17:27,28
Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favour rather than one who has a flattering tongue. Prov. 28:23 Prov. 27:5,6.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. Prov. 13:14.
This verse turns us from the mere horizontal to the vertical; for we have the words of eternal life – ultimate “Life words” in Jesus who is a fountain of life and who turns us from the snares of death….. foreseen in Proverbs 30:5…. He is the word of God who is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
So, in all our struggles with speech, let us continue to come to Christ the true Son spoken of in Proverbs; for “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (He truly feared God His Father… He perfectly entrusted Himself to Him). 1 Peter 2:22-24.
Yours in Christ,