"Life and death are in the power of the tongue."  - Proverbs 18:21

Words are everywhere. We see and hear them constantly. We use them to communicate. It’s estimated that the average woman speaks between 10,000 and 20,000 words a day. It is also estimated that the average person sees between 500 and 2,000 advertisements in a day. Think about what you are doing right now. You are reading a blog on your device of choice, written with words.

Can it really be that life and death are in the power of the tongue?

I remember going on a hiking trip a few years ago on the Appalachian Trail. It seemed like everytime we got to the top of a mountain, it was only to see the next mountain we had to climb. It got harder and harder each time, but it was such a blessing to have strong encouraging people on the team. Their encouraging words helped us over each peak, even when we thought we could go no further.

In his book, Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins writes, "Throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform our emotions, to enlist us in their causes, and to shape the course of destiny."

James 3:4-6 states: "Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity."

Do you understand the power we are talking about here? The tongue has the power to inspire men and women to greatness, and it also has the power to bring them to their knees. It can speak positivity or negativity, success or failure, good or evil, life or death into our lives and the lives of those around us.

When we learn to control our words, we are better able to control our thoughts, feelings and actions. And when we align our words with God's words, we see amazing results. We see positive attitudes and encouragement in times of trouble. We pray prayers of faith to move mountains, and we get to see the promises of God come to fruition.

This is the power of the tongue.

So think about your words today. Are you speaking life or death into the lives of those around you? What about your own life?

Other verses to consider: Matthew 12:33-37, Ephesians 4:29, James 3:1-12

"Lord, I thank you today for the words that you speak about me. I thank you that you work all things for good for those who love you. I thank you that I can cast my cares on you because you care for me. Empower me today to take control of my words. Help me to align my words with your words and to pray prayers of faith. I trust you and your promises, and I will honor you with my tongue today. Amen."

(This blog was written as part of the #Wisdumb series at Rockford First and posted on Pastor Jer's Blog. You can check out all 31 days of Proverbs posts there too!)