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We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships, as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider when a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell. 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? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives? Or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. – James 3:1-12

Words form the world around you. Anything that is made by God exists because somebody said something. In truth, anything that is made by man also exists because some man or woman said something. No matter what you see that is made, whether it be made by God or man, it exists only because first someone said it should be there. Words frame our ideas. Words frame our poetry. Words frame our praise and our prayer. Words form the world around us. Words have power, and words make.

The words you speak today are as paint on a canvas. As you talk, colors and shapes take form in the world around you. If you speak darkness, gossip, lies, and bitterness into the world around you, your canvas will become increasingly darker. If you speak life, encouragement, truth, and love into the world around you, you will live more so in that kind of a world. If you speak judgment into the world around you, you are going to attract judging people who will judge you. If you speak gossip into the world you, you’re going to attract gossiping people who will then gossip about you. If you speak encouragement into the world around you, you will draw joy filled, positive, encouraging people into your world.

If you want to make a better world, you need start with better words. Be intentional about what you say and the canvas you paint. Speak life into the world that needs words of life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help me to be intentional with the words that I use so that my canvas can be full of joy and positivity. Amen.

REFLECTION: What does my word canvas look like now? What do I want it to look like?

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