Life or death

Have you ever received a text or voicemail that throws you off? The message completely derails you, and you’re left wondering how to respond. You think about it for a while, maybe you feel angry or sad. Perhaps you wonder why this person chose to make you their target for the day.

When I receive a negative message, my first response is to be defensive. I feel the need to defend myself and hit back. But the times I’ve done that, the outcome was not usually a positive one. So while my points maybe have been justified, I have to ask if it was worth proving them?

The Bible has some strong words to say about our tongue and the consequences of what we say. James 3:8 says, “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

Wow, how can this be? Talking is something we do all day long, sometimes without giving much thought to how we use our words. But the Bible is very clear about the power words can have, even going so far to say our “tongues can bring death or life” (Prov. 18:21).

Make no mistake, it is our choice to speak death or life to someone. We have that choice. Sometimes the best response is no response. Proverbs 17:27 says, “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.”

So the next time you receive the unexpected “gift” of a fire-fueled message, stop and take the time to pray. Ask God to help you understand where the other person is coming from and the best way to respond. You will never go wrong when you speak life to someone. It will change your day for the better, and their day as well.

Amy Hacker is a regular contributor to The Scroll. She also is advertising manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media Group. She attends the Church of the Highlands and has three children.


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