Forget what the Constitution of the United States of American says…there’s no such thing as free speech. Here’s why:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat it’s fruits. –Proverbs 18:21
Have you ever eaten the fruit of your tongue? I know I have. Which story do I tell?
I was 20 years old. Amy and I were engaged to be married and we went to Dillard’s to make selections for our upcoming bridal shower. My future mother-in-law met us there and we made selections of everything from towels to place settings. I didn’t have much to say. What Amy liked, I was partial to. Until it came to the flatware. We were looking at the multitude of options when this one jumped out at me – as being unsightly! I believe I said something like this: “That is hideous. It’s gaudy. Who in the world would want to eat with something like that?” I made my point. That was not our selection and not what we eat with today.
However, later that evening, we were at a big family gathering at my future mother-in-law’s house. We set down to eat and guess what flatware was at each place setting on the table? You guessed it! Twenty-six years later, every time we eat at my in-laws I’m reminded of those careless words.
The writer of Proverbs reminds us that every time we open our mouth we have the opportunity to speak life or death. That’s it – only two options. We can speak blessing into and over the lives of others or we can speak curses into and over the life of others.
What kind words do you tend to speak the most? What do your conversations with your spouse sound like? With your children? How about at your work? Or about your church? How about your social media feeds?
Do your words bless those around you? Do they encourage and build others up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)? Or do they tear others down? Are they words of untruth, gossip, division, or negativity?
We don’t have the right to free speech, but we do have the right to use our words to bless others. Let’s do that!