“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
– James 3:9-11
Yesterday, we talked about the power of being an encourager and about how speaking words of life can unlock the image of God in others. However, if we’re honest, we don’t always feel like being positive, kind, and affirming. After all, life is hard, and it’s easy to wonder at the end of the day, what’s in it for me? Well today, I want to answer that question. In the ancient world, there was a prevailing belief that if you blessed someone, a little bit of that blessing splashed back on you. Conversely, if you cursed someone, some of the curse also returned to you. This is why James said that just as salt water and fresh water cannot flow from the same spring, the tongue cannot rightfully be used to both uplift and tear down. If I’m sitting at the dinner table with my kids and I chew one of them out then turn to the other and say something loving and sweet, the scream I launched previously is still in the air. Though the positive affirmation I uttered was heard, it was overshadowed by the negative words that preceded it, so it didn’t yield its full effect. On the other hand, if I speak graciously to both of my children, the blessing contained in my encouragement is received, and then it comes back to encourage me. The bottom line is that as we consistently lift people up, we’re lifted up also.
My friend, you have the power to create the atmosphere around you. Your Lord is the Living Word, and He has appointed you and anointed you to impart His authority through the words you say. When you speak divine encouragement, wisdom, and Biblical promises over people, you are healed and helped in return. By refreshing others, you are refreshed, and the Kingdom of God is magnified as a result.
Jesus, thank you for your steadfast goodness that blesses me when I speak life and encouragement to others.
How are you blessed when you use your words to build other people up?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.