[Column] You will eat the fruits of your mouth

In the Talmud, there is a story about the two clowns named Simon and John. One day, the King ordered them, “Simon, bring me the best thing in the world. John, I want you to look everywhere and find me the worst thing in the world.” By the King’s command, they looked all over the country in search of what they had been asked to obtain and eventually returned to the King. As Simon opened his sack, the King saw a tongue. Ironically, John revealed the same content in his sack as well. This is a cautionary reminder that the tongue can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how we use it. The Bible tells us that the tongue has the power over life and death: “From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:20-21). Life is largely shaped by the type of language we use. God refers to Himself as the One who “create(s) the fruit of the lips” (Isaiah 57:19). The key here is the word create. Our appearance and education are not important. Neither are our circumstances and talents. It is the lips that matter because God tells us that He will create as we open our mouth and speak.

One day, an elderly couple went on an outdoor trip. Having grown tired after hours of walking, the wife asked, “Can you give me a piggyback ride?” As much as he did not want to, he offered her a piggyback ride for the fear of nagging. Feeling a bit uneasy, the wife broke into a conversation asking, “Am I not heavy?” The husband then angrily replied, “Sure.” When the wife asked him why, he responded, “Because your head is full of worthless garbage, your face is thick-skinned, and your heart is frozen ice.” On their way home, the husband hurt his leg and the wife gave him a piggyback ride this time. Wanting to distance himself from his wife in speech, the husband asked, “Am I not light?” instead of “Am I not heavy?” Then the wife answered, “Sure you are because you’re air-headed, all talk and no action.” Reciprocation is a universal rule. Negative words generate negative words and negative relationships. In addition, they hurt the feelings and motivation of others. We should use positive and faith-filled language rather than negative language.

Instead of cursing others, we should bless them. “He loved to pronounce a curse– may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing– may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil” (Psalms 109:17-18). What does that mean? It means he who curses will eventually bring upon himself curses whereas he who blesses will bring upon himself blessings. Therefore you are to bless even those who hate you for your own good. Also speak the words of praise rather than criticism. What removes impurities from man is not criticism but praise. As gold is refined by the furnace, man is refined by the praise he receives (Proverbs 27:21). Praise makes man invaluable. Remember. You will eat the fruits of your mouth (Proverbs 18:21). You will reap the fruits of life as you sow the seeds of words. Pray that you speak as though God Himself speaks through you (1 Peter 4:11). Then your life will unfold according to your words.

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