march18 receivedwitheagerness

Words That Give Life

Proverbs 15:4 (ESV) – A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Have you ever noticed that some people’s words have the effect of comforting and healing? Some people speak with such wisdom and grace that their words are a balm that soothe anxiousness and provide comfort. Years ago, when I struggled with crippling anxiety and panic attacks, I easily got claustrophobic. One time, while boarding an airplane home from a mission trip, we walked onto a plane so small that our heads almost hit the ceiling.  

My friend could see in my face the distress. I nearly turned around and got off the plane. But he looked at me with such kindness and grace and told me, “Erik, God is sovereign.” Those words, spoken in that moment, were exactly what I needed. They were restorative to my heart. 

Our passage today reminds us of the power of words. They can either bless or they can curse. They can heal or they can wound. The proverb says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” 

You can likely think of examples where the words of others had an effect on you. There are words that stick in your memory and won’t go away. “I hate you.” “I don’t love you anymore.” “You’ve disappointed me.” These kinds of words are devastating to hear. They indicate someone’s displeasure in us. They can strike to the heart of our identity and shape how we see ourselves, even how we see our worth. That’s why words must be carefully guarded before we utter them carelessly. It is also why we should examine words spoken to us before we let them shape our beliefs or understanding of ourselves. 

However, words spoken in gentleness are a tree of life. They fuel confidence in ourselves. They assure us we are loved and valuable. There are probably things that have been spoken to you by others in a positive manner that you can remember too. In the same way that words can negatively impact, the right words can change the course of our lives. A teacher, parent, sibling, spouse, or friend can say something that God uses to prosper us. We should desire to be that kind of person.

Words matter. They convey ideas and beliefs. They can do irreparable harm or fuel people for a lifetime. Let’s ask the Lord to give us grace despite careless words we’ve spoken.

Let’s pray that negative things we’ve heard would not define us, but instead, the words of our Savior would reign supreme in our hearts and minds. May God use us to speak life-giving words to others that God can use to bless them.

Tweet This!

Reflection & Journal:
- Why are words so powerful? Why does it matter what is said to us and what we say to others?
- What are some words that have either given you life or been difficult for you to overcome?
- How are you challenged today by this passage and devotion? What actions should you take? 

We make these devotions freely available to thousands of readers daily. If you’d like to help support the ministry, please click here to learn more.

Sign up to receive our daily devotions in your inbox here!