Verse: Proverbs 15: 1, 3
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Sometimes when I'm not sure what to read in the morning, I'll just read from Proverbs and pick the chapter that matches the date. I wasn't sure what to write this morning for our devotion, so I tried this! These two verses stuck out to me because, how often do we really think about what we are saying?
These simple sentences highlight the power that is resident in our words. It's easy to believe that our words are cheap. We say so many of them, how could they actually have any power? But Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "The tongue has the power of life and death." And James confirms this by telling us that "anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect" (James 3:2).
What sicks out to me this morning is how powerful some loving and kind words can be. A gentle answer can turn away the anger of someone, and some soothing words can be a tree of life for others. Our words can bring peace to others, lift up their spirit, strengthen then, comfort them, and let them know they are loved.
What I'm thinking this morning is that for many of us we probably aren't saying harsh words and perverse words. Maybe it's not about the negative or mean things we say. Maybe it's about the good, gentle, soothing, and wise words that we choose not to say. Maybe what is UNSAID is more damaging because we miss the opportunity to be a source of life to others. What if we looked for times to say what needs to be said? What if we looked for times to intentionally speak words of life, words of comfort, words of wisdom, and words of peace? We could even start today! Maybe if we ask the Lord to help us see those times, we won't miss them, and instead we will be a blessing to those around us.