“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21

Words matter. You’ve heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s a brave statement children are taught to counter other children’s name-calling. But it is not true.

Have you ever been hurt deeply by something someone said to you? It may have been said by a parent, teacher, or close friend. Somehow those words stuck with you through the years. Maybe you were hurt because you didn’t expect that person to say something that hurtful. Maybe you believed what that person said at the time, and you can’t seem to shake that thought.

“You are so stupid.” “You can’t do anything right.” “Nobody’s going to want someone like you.” “You say the dumbest things.” These are just a few of the hurtful statements I’ve heard people say to their own children.

These are ‘confidence breakers.’ They cause the recipients of these comments to become self-conscious of their speech or appearance. As they grow up, they are hesitant to do anything because they know they will fail. They don’t speak up for fear of sounding stupid. They may be some of the smartest and most talented people on Earth, but in their minds they have nothing to offer the world.

On the other hand, speaking words of love and encouragement can enhance the lives of our children. They should be told that they are smart and have a lot to offer. With that positive attitude instilled in them they can accomplish much more than one that’s been subjected to a negative attitude. Their confidence has been built up.

The last part of this scripture reads: “…and they that love it shall eat the fruits thereof.” A lot of people like to gossip. They can’t wait to tell the latest dirt on anyone.

Ever know someone who was caught spreading false rumors? That person usually gains the reputation as someone who can’t be trusted. No one believes anything they have to say any more. They eat the fruit of their lies.

Remember, if you always tell the truth, you don’t have to keep up with what you told who.

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23


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