Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NASB)
Ever wondered why the apostle James compared our tongue, a relatively small part of our body, to the rudder of a ship? He wrote: “Although they are so large (the ships) and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.” (James 3:4 – NIV).
So then if our tongues are compared to the rudder of a ship, we own a small but powerful tool we can use to bless or to curse anyone and everyone. A blessing brings life, whereas a curse brings death. If then death and life are in our power when we use our tongue, how carefully do we need to choose our words.
By choosing kind, loving, edifying, encouraging, pure, gracious words, we are blessing someone, and we are bringing them life, we are imitating our Lord. We have the power to praise not only our God, but our dear ones. When we don’t choose our words correctly, we then curse, lie, shame, humiliate, and consequently sentence our loved ones to death.
Furthermore, the second part of the Proverb says that “ those who love it will eat its fruit.” So this means that if we say good and kind words, we will also reap good and kind words. If we bless someone with our tongue, we too will be blessed. If we judge, criticize, curse, we too will be judged, criticized and cursed, because “ what a man sows he reaps.” (Gal 6:7) and “By your words you will be declared innocent, or by your words you will be declared guilty.” (Matthew 12:37)