[This is part one of two. Click here for part two!]
I was talking to a friend recently and they mentioned they were studying what the Bible says about the power of words. It piqued my interest so I started thinking about it myself. I started thinking about the power of life giving words and the power of life draining words. Thinking about it was a great reminder because it is so easy for me to forget how powerful words really are and how much certain words are remembered — even long after I’ve personally forgotten them.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)
We all know how much strong and powerful wording can affect others, but I feel I often forget how much the little things I say can impact another being. I was reminded of a time I stayed at a friend’s house. Each morning I would go into the kitchen to boil some water for coffee. The kettle sat below a window sill that had a few plants on it and when the kettle began to boil, steam would fill the air and the hanging leaves from the plants would seem to disappear in the steam for a few moments.
I thought nothing of this until, a week later, I noticed the side of the plant that was just above the kettle was withering away. It was so gradual that I didn’t notice that the extreme heat of the steam was slowing killing one side of the plant! Thinking back on this story reminded me of how we can say seemingly insignificant things to people, by our own standards, and not realize that they are slowly withering away because of it.
It also got me thinking about how we can slowly wither away within ourselves when we aren’t careful with our words. Jesus says it best “but what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:18). Although this is such a simple and straightforward lesson, sadly I need to be reminded regularly of it.
I know that my kettle needs to boil sometimes, that’s life, but let’s remember to move our kettles away from the plants and place it under a vent.