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promo photo Kathy C Miller

 

You most likely know the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Our mothers may have said that to us to try to relieve the emotional pain we encountered by our peers, but to believe that lie is to ignore the power of words which God created to communicate with us. He also intended His creatures to give blessings through words, not wound others. Jesus, “the Word” (John 1:1), spoke words to create our world and all the galaxies. That’s power!

No wonder God caused Solomon to refer frequently in Proverbs to the influence, damage, or blessing of our spoken and written language. We can grow in our ability to use words to bless others and glorify God by studying Proverbs.

Death & Life_words--from Kathy Collard Miller (1)

Solomon wrote through God’s enabling, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). God’s words are a warning that we should be careful and wise with every word we speak. Jesus would later state in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” If Jesus speaks of such judgment, we can be sure our words make a huge impact.

We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life.#guardyourheart#proverbs4:23#heartwisdom Click To Tweet

The truth of Proverbs 18:21 offers two important perspectives—the perspective of those who hear the words of others and secondly, who speak words to others. First, Solomon is saying there are words of death and words of life, but when we hear the words of others, we often don’t recognize which is which. We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life. But Proverbs gives us the other part of wisdom: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

I recently shared these truths at a women’s retreat and a woman pulled me aside during the break explaining she was confused because her mentor had said some things that confused her. She felt like she needed to do everything this woman told her including the right time in each day to do her housework. I tried not to be shocked because it was such an extreme example. Yet I’ve heard similar stories of those who feel controlled by someone who believes they know what is best for every aspect of another person’s life. We must be so careful to not be controlled by the words of others and thus make others our God rather than seeking God’s wisdom and discernment.

On the other side of the coin for every one of us who teaches, leads, or mentors others, we must use our words to encourage another woman to seek God as her primary source. And we can also be aware of the wisdom of Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Is the person we are guiding closer to God and living a more fruitful, abundant life? Or do they seem overwhelmed? Are we talking too much? Are we listening carefully? Do we “hear” the heart or only pounce on the behavior?

Often, we aren’t using wise words because of our motives. We might think our friend’s reactions are a reflection of us and we must control them for our own reputation. Or we believe we should be the only influence. Or she cannot fail. We must trust God enough to allow our friend to make mistakes and have a different opinion.

People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don't have to accept them as true.#dontpickthemup#wordsarepowerful#powerofwords. Click To Tweet

Yes, our words are powerful yet God’s work within a person’s heart through His Holy Spirit’s power is even more effective. We can give, share, and offer wisdom, but only the Holy Spirit can make a heart change within another.

And if we are the one who has heard unwise or hurtful words, we can ask and trust God to heal our wounded hearts. He can reveal His perspective of us as valuable and important to Him. People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don’t have to accept them as true.

promo photo Kathy C Miller

Kathy Collard Miller almost took her life over 40 years ago because she knew her words toward her toddler daughter were destructive. God revealed the solutions for Kathy’s abusive anger and she tells her story in: No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.). She has over 50 other published books including Heart Wisdom: a women’s Bible study on Proverbs. Kathy has spoken in over 35 states and 8 foreign countries. She and her husband, Larry, have been married 49 years and live in Southern California. www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor

Instagram: KathyCollardMiller

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KathyCMiller

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

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