They are essential to our lives.
They can build up or tear down.
They can convey understanding or they can confuse.
They can encourage or they can depress.
They can expose or they can conceal.
They can show vision or they can offer despair.
They express our thoughts, our ideas, our feelings, our desires, our very heart of hearts.
By them we can instruct.
By them our requests are made known.
By them the Truth is known.
By them a lie is given life.
By them we communicate.
They can motivate either to good or evil.
They can set you free or bring you into captivity.
They will nurture life or they will nurture death.
They are words.
My heart must always line up with my words to achieve the desired results.
My heart must always line up with my words to convey an accurate and true understanding.
If, when I speak words of encouragement, my heart is discouraged, I will convey discouragement.
J.G. Holland said, "The mind grows with what it feeds on."
Sir Walter Raleigh said, "To live thy better, let thy worst thoughts die."
My heart will never convey love until I feed it with love.
My heart will never speak true words of encouragement unless I feed it with words of encouragement. I must feed on that which I desire to communicate.
Words of love and tenderness, when spoken from a heart of love are heard in sweet harmonies.
Tunes that are pleasant and refreshing to the ears of the hearer. Birds singing in the quiet of the morning stillness bring a song of peace and gentleness.
When I speak of love from a heart that is carrying a burden, it is like the birds singing with interruptions from the noise of traffic on a nearby road. The peacefulness of their melodies is gone. The pure song of delight is drowned in the noise of confusion. The ability to heal and refresh has been lost in the unseen rumblings.
I must always be aware of the words that I am speaking to my own heart and mind. When my words are a benefit to me, then my words can also benefit another.
Emerson said, "Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel."
One description I gave of words was, "They will nurture life or they will nurture death."
All words will fall into one of these two categories.
Most men desire to speak words that will nurture life, yet which words in our language are unto life and which words are unto death?
Jesus Christ said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
What are those words which Jesus Christ spoke?
John wrote of Jesus, "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
Again, john wrote of Jesus, "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father...I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me...I have given them thy word...thy word is truth."
What were the words of life that Jesus Christ spoke?
They were the words of God.
Solomon wrote of God's words, "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let then not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them..."
God's words are those words that give life, and the words of His adversary are those words that nurture death.
Solomon wrote of God's adversary's words, "Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead."
There are words that nurture life, and they are God's.
There are words that nurture death, and they are from God's adversary.
But again, which words in our language belong in which category?
God said to Adam, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
God's adversary said to Eve, "...Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Then the adversary said, "Ye shall not surely die."
Notice the words used are very similar:
God said, "thou shalt."
The adversary said, "ye shall."
God said, "not."
The adversary said, "not."
God said, "surely die."
The adversary said, "surely die."
Then what is the difference between the words that nurture life and the words that nurture death?
It is not the words themselves that are deadly or evil. Rather, it is the message they convey, and it is the heart and attitude of the one speaking that gives a word it's life or dips it in a deadly poison before sending it forth.
By His words, God let the truth be known when He spoke to Adam.
By his words, the adversary spread his lie to Eve.
Some speak words whose message is intended to nurture death.
They speak in order to take.
They speak to bring about the bondage and captivity of another.
They speak for their own gain, advancement, and selfish designs;
for they realize the paramount importance of words and endeavor to harness the great power of words to captivate.
Shakespeare wrote, "These words are razors to my wounded heart."
Some speak words in order to cut the legs out from under the one to whom they are speaking. They hope to cut another down so as to appear to be elevated themselves.
They know that weapons can capture a country for a while, holding it's people prisoner.
But words can capture a man's heart and mind and hold him prisoner without his even knowing it.
Words can capture permanently!
John Selden said, "Syllables govern the world."
Talmadge said, "The pen is the lever that moves the world."
Words, whether spoken or written, can nurture life or they can nurture death.
If words convey the heart of God, they will nurture life;
if they convey anything else, they will nurture death.
Martin Luther said, "A single little word can strike him dead."
But not all words, that nurture death, are spoken out of an evil heart seeking selfish gain.
Shelley said, "We know not what we do when we speak words."
Too often Shelley's words are true.
Sometimes, due to a lack of thinking, a failure to consider, we in ignorance send forth words from a good heart, that are deadly...words that offer confusion, despair, and captivity; words that conceal the truth, words that bring discouragement.
Yet, even in ignorance, we are responsible for every word we utter.
Therefore, we need to take care, to think of the heart and the life, as well as the profit of the person to whom we are speaking.
If we in ignorance speak words that are as a cold wind on a tooth with a cavity, words that enslave another's heart and mind, words that give life to a lie, then we must change.
We must change the source of our words or perhaps the home of our words.
The home of our words is our attitude of heart, our cause, our reason for speaking.
Words that are like razors to a wounded heart, words that cut to the heart and nurture death, can be overcome. They can be overcome with right words, with words of life which are God's words.
Emerson said, "There is no calamity which right words will not begin to redress."
If we are careful with our words, speaking to profit another, then our words can be healing words.
Cicero said, "We should be as careful of our words as of our actions, and as far from speaking ill as from doing ill."
David wrote of God, "He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."
Our words must be the words of God if we are to nurture life.
Our attitude in speaking must be the attitude that Jesus Christ had when he spoke.
Jesus said, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."
Jesus Christ spoke with an attitude of giving, an attitude of love.
He spoke to instruct, to build up, to encourage, to make known the truth, to set people free, to nurture life, to declare the heart of God.
Each word we speak will be either unto life or unto death.
M.M. Brewster said, "It would be well for us all, old and young, to remember that our words and actions, ay, and our thoughts also, are set upon never-stopping wheels, rolling on and on unto the pathway of eternity."
Words truly are the sounds that move men's hearts.
And we can be sure in which direction we are moving another's heart.
Joubert said, "Words, like glass, darken what ever they do not help us to see."
Paul wrote, "let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."