Our scripture this morning is Proverbs 18:20-21.

From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The Book of Proverbs has much wisdom for us. It is likely you have heard Proverbs quoted often, perhaps without even knowing the scriptural source. Unlike much of the rest of scripture, which is in narrative or lesson form, these short sayings are little bursts of encouragement or warning for how we live and relate to God and one another. 

This passage about eating and speaking is one that Jesus may have been referring to in Matthew 15:11 when He tells us “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth — this defiles a person”. In James 3:9-10 we read “With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way.” Our words have power, and when we speak falsely or cruelly, we harm others and ourselves.

Jesus taught us to speak kindly to those who need comfort and support, and graciously to those who oppose us. The things we say and do mark us either as followers of Christ or those who are still lost. This proverb tells us “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”. Instead, let’s eat the bread of life Jesus offers us and love one another as He does.

Heavenly Father, we are sorry for the times our words have not honored You or harmed Your creation. Bless us to be the bearers of the Good News in everything we say and do. Amen.

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