Proverbs 18:21 – Your power to kill

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

(Pro 18:21 ESV)

During times of war this proverb is quite literally true. The phrase, “Loose lips sink ships” originated during World War 2 to remind people that they need to keep military secrets secure because spies could be anywhere. If strategic information got into the wrong hands, death would be a very real possibility. A little closer to home (and absent any military theme) our words have the power to build and destroy both ourselves and others. If we speak unwisely we destroy our reputation. If we speak harshly to others, we destroy them. We can similarly be cautious in our words to build up both ourselves and those around us. Sometimes a lack of speech may actually serve to build us up, “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

In all cases, be careful what you say, if you say anything at all. Like nuclear energy that can power a nation with electricity, or destroy it through a bomb, our words carry more power than many people care to admit. Speak responsibly.

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