Life or Death


People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

James 3:7-12 NLT


Our mouths reveal our hearts. Our mouths also release life or death.

When there is faith in our hearts, then our mouths will speak faith and release life. When our hearts are full of fear and doubt, then our mouths will release death.

I have seen this so many times in working with people. People are scarred by the words that an angry parent spoke over them. I remember one individual who was convinced they were incompetent and incapable of success in life. Their parent was always pointing out their failures and regularly called them stupid, ugly, and worthless. Those words were death to the faith of this person.

Now, as an adult in their mid-thirties, they are still struggling with the words spoken over them. Even though they have come to realize the words their parent spoke revealed more about the parent than the child, it is still the child that suffers—even as an adult.

We need to ask God to cleanse our hearts so that words of faith and life can flow out of our hearts.


Holy Spirit, help me to examine my heart. Reveal anything in me that needs to change. Help me to be full of faith with a pure heart. Help my words to be life-giving.

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