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Words Matter

When an opportunity comes, try to build up and encourage instead of berate and tear down. It can be life-giving to the person in front of you.

The power of the spoken word can bring life or death. It can bless or curse. It can heal or wound. I am amazed at how mornings can be in the Peterson home. Having a family of six with four school-aged kids can be challenging at times, and especially mornings! Parents, are you with me??? Many times, the words we use with one another can influence the ethos of our mornings. Words tip us in either positive or negative directions, and usually there is no neutrality.

In the book of James, I am reminded that our words can be used for blessing or cursing others (James 3:9). In fact, James writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit using two applicable metaphors to describe the power of the tongue or words we say. The tongue is a bit in the mouth of horses (James 3:3) and a rudder of a ship (James 3:4) that steer the entire course of life. In speaking to his disciples, Jesus states, "for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).

When it comes to the words we speak, I am reminded of toothpaste . . . If you have ever squirted out too much toothpaste, it is impossible to get it back in the tube. It is sticky and makes a mess all over the place. The same thing happens with speaking negative or destructive words. Once you have spoken a negative word, it is impossible to ever get it back just like the toothpaste. When an opportunity comes, try to build up and encourage instead of berate and tear down. It can be life-giving to the person in front of you.

I pray and hope we will be a community of people speaking life-giving words to each other because we believe in and apply the gospel to our lives.

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