Grace and peace be unto you.
The story is told that Naboth was stoned to death after two false witnesses testified that he had cursed God and man (1 Kings 21:8-13). The false witnesses’ untruth resulted in Naboth’s demise. Similarly, in 2003 a United States led coalition invaded Iraq on the premise that it had weapons of mass destructions. Surprisingly, none was found. It was later stated that the pre-intelligence report received by the then Bush Administration was misleading. Sadly, nearly 300,000 lives were lost. The false allegation caused many deaths.
On the other hand, Jesus saved the woman who committed adultery, when he told her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11). He spoke the words of encouragement she needed, and her life was spared. God desires that we use our tongue to save and not destroy lives. Scripture says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). God is pleased when we speak the truth and encourage others according to his plan.
It must be mentioned that the Word of Faith’s interpretation of Proverbs 18:21 differs from sound biblical exegesis. Their interpretation is that we have the power to create our reality. Consequently, when we use positive words, we are sending out positive energy and inviting same. And so, we will experience good health, have adequate finances, and satisfying relationships. On the contrary, when we use negative words, we are sending out negative energy and will receive same. Hence, we will have poor health, limited finances, and unsatisfying relationships. Although this explanation sounds good, it is inaccurate.
The correct interpretation is, we should speak the truth and encourage others. By so doing, we will save lives and prevent many deaths. How can we encourage others based on God’s plan? God knows the words that will uplift his children. These include words of truth, love, and compassion. When we invite the Holy Spirit to guide our conversations, and obey him, we will encourage others.
Sometimes we use platitudes to encourage others and the results are discouraging. This happens because their needs are not addressed. Two examples of platitudes are, “Hold on, things will work out” and “I understand.” An appropriate response would be, “God is working things out, in his time he will respond, continue trusting him.” The next time you are having a conversation, ask yourself these questions before you speak, “What does God want me to say?” “Will my words result in life or death?”
Heavenly Father, thank you for your guidance. Help us to focus on speaking the truth and uplifting others. In Jesus’ name, amen.