Proverbs 15:4

Speech that heals is like a life-giving tree,
but a perverse tongue breaks the spirit.

That’s exactly what I needed to hear!

Have you ever been trying to figure out a situation or problem and just found yourself at a loss? I have. I have tried and tried to come to a conclusion, but for some reason I just couldn’t get there. I’d thought about every possible scenario, but I just didn’t “have peace” about it.

Then, someone I trust offers some great advice. And often times, that advice gets confirmed by another person I trust. It’s amazing the kind of life and peace that can bring to a struggle.

But, I’ve also been on the flip-side. I’ve been down and out, only to have someone come along with a new knife and give me another flesh wound. It can be crushing. Especially, when you’re already in a position of suffering. To have someone come along and pour salt in the old wound and create a new one can really break your spirit. (If someone does this to you, I give you permission to never listen to another word they say.)

But, the point of proverbs is not to point out the flaws in other people. Instead, it is a book of observations. And if we live according to them, than we can expect life to turn out as the book speaks.

So, what is your speech like? Are you looking for ways to speak truth and affirmation into the lives of those around you? Are you observing what they’re going through and praying for God to guide in ways that will help them gain the perspective they need?

Or, are you crushing spirits? Are you saying things that cause additional pain on top of the pain that the person already feels? Let me give you a way to find out:

Do people stick around you and find ways to want to be with you? Or, do you have a hard time keeping friends? If you find yourself with and abundance of relationships, you are probably speaking life-giving words. If you don’t, you may need to think of ways you can speak life into those around you instead of crushing their spirits.