Thursday, October 12, 2017

Taming the Tongue

Imagine that I was just steady squeezing a tube of toothpaste watching it pour out into a pile of minty goop. What if I decided I wanted to put it all back in the tube? Could it be done? No, not really. This is an example of what happens to the words we speak. Once they are spoken, they can’t be taken back. Anything after that is either just cleaning up or reaping the fruit of whatever was spoken. Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword…” Whether written or spoken (or typed on FB), we cannot afford to be carelessly squeezing the tube because everything we speak has a consequence be it positive or negative, in love or in hate.

There is so much power in our words that all of creation was formed by words. God actually “spoke” creation into existence! In Genesis, God said, “Let there be light, sky, earth, grass..." and so on. Then He created man in His own image and gave him dominion and authority to name every living creature. They messed up, ate the apple and God used His words yet again but this time to curse the serpent, curse the ground…curse childbirth…dang you, Eve.

Then in the New Testament, Jesus also used just His words to both curse a fig tree and to raise Lazarus from the dead. To one He spoke death, and to the other He spoke life. The point is that the same power that lives in Him lives in us, so why wouldn’t our words carry blessings and curses and life and death? Every day, we are literally speaking instructions to be carried out in some form or fashion.

The Scripture that we’re going to focus on is Proverbs 18:21. “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” There was a situation the other day where Kadi (my youngest daughter) and I were discussing a possible outcome. I absolutely love her faith and she challenges me in this area every day. We were sitting outside by the pool, tears streaming down her face as she was caught in the center of a middle school friend crisis. We’ve all been there. I was getting ready to speak a very likely possibility in this perfect parent to child teaching moment, when she stops me mid-sentence and says, “Before you say what I know you’re going to say, remember Proverbs 18:21. And before you tell me it doesn’t really apply in this situation, it does. It applies in EVERY situation.” She understood the power of words and didn’t even want the words coming out of my mouth because she didn’t want to give life to any other possibility other than what she was still standing in faith for God to change! She basically just flipped the tables on this little teaching moment of ours. She was so right. This principle is applied in every aspect of our lives!

I’m reminded of a really funny story from when I was in Bible college. And those of you that have ever been in Bible college know you have faith for everything! Well, I had a friend that literally killed a fly with her words. I can’t explain it. All I know is that she said, “DIE in JESUS NAME” and it did. Maybe it was sheer coincidence that it dropped dead out of mid-air or may God allowed for that teachable moment. I don’t know, but she knew the power her words carried even if no one else did. Weird story, probably won’t work for everyone, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try it, too after that. Let’s just say that I’m still having to break out the fly swatter.

Recently, I did the “apply experiment.” If you haven’t heard of it, basically it was introduced a few years ago by a lady named Nikki Owen who based it off of a water molecule experiment by Dr. Emoto to test the effects of speaking life and death. Since our bodies are about 65% water, she took his experiment a step further and applied it to an apple since it is 70% water…very close to the human body. The point is to measure the rate of decay relative to the words spoken. I sliced my apple in half and put each in a separate Ziploc bag for 7 days. I spoke love to one and hate to the other. Here are my results:  

That’s pretty crazy. The “bad” apple that I spoke death to and commanded to rot is actually rotting at a much faster rate than the good apple. You can see a bit of bruising starting on the good apple, but it still has its seeds and a decent color. If you look at the other apple, you can notice the more brown color and significant rotting on the bottom. What’s worse is the smell. The good apple still smells sweet. The other apple smells fermented. Yuck! I spoke to them each for the same amount of time and they sat in the same spot on the counter. The only difference was in WHAT and HOW I spoke to them. I’m not sure if this experiment is accurate or not, but it worked for me! Give it a try and see what results you get…that’s what an experiment is all about anyway! If this proves true, I wonder what our words are physically capable of doing to our bodies, mindsets or those we love. Words are so powerful!

Let’s close with this: If the words you speak today inevitably shape your tomorrow, what does the forecast look like?

{If you would like to see the video broadcast of this devotional that was shared via FB live to the Christian Women of Collin County, CLICK HERE. You can also just search that page for "Taming the Tongue."}