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The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)

It hit its mark. The crowd around him heard the noise but had no idea of its effect. How could they know that the wound caused by the shot went straight to the soul? The victim would never be the same.

The Bible is very clear about the power of the tongue. On the one hand it can spread goodness and elevate the needy to heights never imagined. But when used to attack, it is a weapon of mass destruction leaving the lives of many promising people to wallow in failure.

Negative words destroy potential. They come from exasperated parents who ask the ‘hard questions’. “How can you be so stupid?” “Why can’t you be more like your ‘brother/sister?” “You’ll never amount to anything. You are too much like your mother/father.”

The words sting. They go deep to the soul. Tearing apart. Gashing all the way. They leave a gaping wound. A wound that the  victim will spend the rest of his/her life trying to fill with relationships, toys or chemicals. They try soothing the pain by inflicting pain on others, hoping in some way to lessen their own pain.

If 100 people compliment you throughout your day and one person makes a negative comment about you, the negative comment will stick with you for the remainder of the day or even longer. Much as you try to dispel it, the words cut like a knife and obliterate the positive comments made.

It’s time to stop believing the lies of your past. The words spoken in anger, in sarcasm or ‘in joking’ were lies. You can accomplish great things as a child of the Living God. He created you with special gifts, God-given abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. It doesn’t matter what others have told you. You are valuable. You are a jewel, a diamond in the rough, because of Jesus!

You hold the power for life and death by the very words you speak when it comes to others. When you have a firm grasp of who you are, when you truly believe that you are God’s very special creation, then you can work to build up others. It can be as simple as a smile and a thank you. It can be as challenging as being patient when the same mistake is made for the umpteenth time with no hope in sight that anything will change…except that the perpetrator is also God’s creation given to you so you can change their world!

From this day forward covenant with God that you will no longer believe the lies of your past. From this day forward rely on God’s Holy Spirit to make a difference in the lives of others by the words you speak.

PRAYER: Holy God. Years ago I received the wound. I’ve borne the pain of it all this time. It’s time to tell myself the truth about me. I am your child. I am created in your image. I’m not stupid. I’m not worthless. I can and will amount to something! Forgive me for believing the lies of others. Help me to forgive them for their attacks. Empower me to build up those around me that have also experience the wound. Amen.

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