God in us – Day 17
Bear fruit – wholesome words
Words can be like spitting, destroying lava from your mouth, or it could be like refreshing cool water from a fountain. Words are probably one of the most important ways to reveal who you belong to, because the things that come out of the mouth, come from the heart (Matthew 15:18-19). No wonder then that Proverbs 4:23 teaches: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Why does the Bible so intensely emphasise the things we say? Maybe, the answer lies with the author of words, namely, God himself. When he used words, he created and everything in the heavens, the sea and on the earth got substance and became alive. His words before the creation of man lay the foundation of their nature: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
Is it then strange that he inspired a writer to write down the following words? The tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). You can speak life or death by your words. Let’s be clear, words do not have magical powers, but have an unbelievable influence on man’s psyche – it infects the whole body: The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6)
Maybe, this is the reason Paul warns that our conversations should be full of grace and good taste? Or that we should be sensitive to the circumstances in every conversation, and only speak what is wholesome and helpful to others (Ephesians 4:29). Could it be that deceitful words and an evil tongue can steal our love for life and take away the privilege from us to see good days? (1 Peter 3:10)
Why does the Bible so clearly emphasise wholesome conversations and good words? Because you and I, as the bearers of the image of God, should make his rulership in our lives visible, even by what we say. Our words should be full of grace to build people up according to their needs and that those who listen, may benefit (Ephesians 4:29). You should remember, we were created to be fountains that provide sweet, drinkable water to a world that thirsts, to see truth and righteousness in action.