TO HURT OR TO HEAL, THAT IS THE QUESTION
PROVERBS 12:18 and 25 NKJV
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs has much to say about our words. In Proverbs chapter 12, eight out of the 28 verses reference words. Whenever Proverbs uses lips, tongue, and mouth, it all has to do with what we speak.
In our verses for today, we see hurting and healing, and both are connected to the words that come out of our mouths. Please note that the value the Bible puts on words is far greater than conventional thinking. The idea of 'just sayin' is never in line with the scriptures.
In Proverbs 12:18, we see that our words can pierce like a sword, or they can bring healing and health. We can understand that just by looking at our relationships. Words of life and love can bring health and healing to a relationship. And yet harsh critical words can destroy what once were strong bonds. I have never been in a marriage counseling scenario where the main problem was kind, loving words. But so many weep over verbal abuse. And verbal abuse is a real thing. This proverb says words can do damage like a sword. That's abuse.
But thank God we can get over on the positive side of this proverb and speak words of life and bring healing. But wait, there's more. Words can not only bring health and healing to relationships, but our words can also bring health and healing to us individually. The words we speak about ourselves can help us or hurt us. By finding out what God says about us and then aligning our words to agree with God, we can have a spiritual impact for good on our own lives.
Proverbs verse 25 is a great combination with verse 18. When someone is living in anxiety, it causes depression. One translation says that it weighs the heart down. Any way we look at it, anxiety is not a good thing. And when people are dealing with depression, that is one of the first places to look. Anxiety is a root of all kinds of problems.
But, I am glad God has answers for anxiety. A good word can make the heart glad. We can go a couple of places with the good word principle. Hearing a good word is good for the heart. And speaking good words is good for the heart. Speaking good words out of our mouths, especially when connected to God's Word, is an answer for anxiety and depression.
If you ever listen to someone who is depressed talk, notice their words. Typically the words of one who is depressed are not words of life, love, and hope. And as someone who dealt with depression in my past, I can witness to the fact that my words were not good words or words of healing. Changing my words was a big step in coming out of depression.
And changing my words was a big step in improving my relationships with my family.
For far too long, my words were critical and like the piercings of a sword. Growing in godly wisdom and learning to speak healthy words made a huge difference in my marriage and relationship with my children. Thank God for His mercy. Thank God for the ability to learn, grow and change.
If I can go from sword mouth to good words, anyone can. God's grace and the help of His Holy Spirit are sufficient power to work change in any willing heart.
Lord, prompt me by Your Spirit to use my words for health, love, and gladness in my own life and the lives of those in my world. I want my words to heal, not hurt.