Proverbs 13:2-3

From the fruit of his speech a person eats good things,
but the faithless desire the fruit of violence.
The one who guards his words guards his life,
but whoever is talkative will come to ruin.

An original piece of art is worth much more than a print of that artists work. That’s common sense – I think. We all know that the Mona Lisa is worth much, much more than a reprint of it. Why do you suppose that is? I’m sure there are several reasons, but the most obvious one is that the artist didn’t paint the replicas. The artist only painted the original.

It was that original piece of artwork that the artist poured himself into. He spent hours thinking about that piece. Then he went through the painstaking process of doing everything within his power and ability to make sure that the physical rendering of what he saw in his mind was as true to the idea as he could possibly make it. What you see on a canvas of a real artist isn’t just a few brush strokes and a pleasing color palette. It’s many hours of hard work spend trying to come up with a way to express how this artist sees the world. Beyond that, it is also the culmination of that artists entire career up to that point. That artist has been working for years, developing his craft. So each piece of art he creates is not only a reflection of that piece but where he is and how far he has come in his ability.

The same is true for each one of us in our lives and specifically our speech. Who we are and how we speak is a culmination of who we have been up to this point in our lives. The words we say are a verbal reflection of the kind of person we are. If we talk to too much, we may not understand the importance of words. We also may not understand that when we talk a lot, it’s harder to stay on track. Sooner or later we will derail ourselves by something we say.

Instead, we should start to think of ourselves as artists with our speech. We need to spend time thinking about what we want to say before we say it. We need to work on the end product in our minds instead of saying something we don’t mean and having to backtrack and cover our steps – or worse – to say something we didn’t mean and we’ll regret later.

Every word we say has potential to do many things. They can give life, encourage and support, teach, etc. Or they can take life away, deconstruct and destroy, demean…

Will your words today be words that produce fruit in the lives of others because you have spent time learning to craft them like an artist? Or will your words bring ruin?