Perhaps you wondered what I meant when I said “speak life” and where the inspiration came from. This post will answer those questions.
In today’s world, it’s easy to see the impact words have. So easily, things can get out of control, especially with social media and text messages at our fingertips. Our words can come back to haunt us or be twisted years later. People send harsh messages without caring about the other person.
The Bible given to us by our Heavenly Father lets us know the power of our words. One of my favourite scriptures on this topic is Proverbs 18:21, which says:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.1
It shows that the words we speak are powerful. Through them, we can give life or death to other people, situations in their life and in our world.
Another important scripture about words come from the words of Christ himself in John 6 verse 63: It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.2
When we speak from our flesh in our own anger, hurt, or desires, it harms. When we speak from the Holy Spirit, the words given to us by God are life to ourselves, others, and the world.
I believe it is these scriptures that inspired one of my favourite songs, Speak Life sung by TobyMac. A few of the lyrics include:
We can turn a heart through the words we say.
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die. So speak life, speak life.
To the deadest, darkest night. Speak life, speak life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the broken-hearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
You speak life, you speak life.
Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.3
To read the full lyrics in order, click here.
To listen to Speak Life, click here.
I’ve always been spiritually sensitive. However, I have only recently realized that this is why other people’s tragedies often feel very personal to me. This is especially true for situations that I have a personal understanding of. It was while listening to this song and thinking about the events in a total stranger’s life that led him to end it I knew I was supposed to use my writing to encourage others. I realized the gifts of storytelling and compassion that God gave me could be used to reach people, especially those who may never pick up a Bible, but might read a novel.
Through that situation, I discovered the power of words. I wish someone had of spoke life to that man. I wish someone had told him that God still wanted to use his life. That even though it seemed impossible, He would turn it all around.
I didn’t know him, so it wasn’t possible to reach him, but perhaps my books can give someone else hope. Maybe they can encourage someone else to be kind to another person ready to give up. I can’t be everywhere or speak to everyone who needs it, but thanks to digital platforms, my books can go just about anywhere on earth. I pray Jesus will use them to speak life to those who need it and teach them to do the same for others.
When I say “speak life” I am not saying lie to someone or to affirm something that God says is sin or is otherwise harmful behaviour. If you love someone, you warn them about a cliff and try to prevent them from walking off it. Compassion also needs truth. Sometimes it doesn’t sound nice and hurts people’s feelings. We also need to speak love in truth, because love doesn’t lie. We’ll discuss more about that in the next post in this series entitled Speak Love in Truth.
1 Proverbs 18:21 World English Bible
2 John 6:63 World English Bible
3 Speak Life, TobyMac, Eye On It, ForeFront Records, 2012