“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 NIV)
When you speak soothing words, you are a tree of life to others. Soothing is defined as flattering; softening; assuaging. In other words, gentle. When our speech is gentle towards others we bring life to them. Always speak genuinely as well. False flattery is worse than nothing at all:
“For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows. They speak friendly words to their neighbors while scheming in their heart to kill them.” (Jeremiah 9:8 NLT)
When you lie to someone, inevitably you are harming them. When you speak gentle words with genuine love, you give them life. Soothing words bring life to those who receive them.
Soothing words bring life to those who receive them.
When we speak to others, the words of life we use will help them become the person God intended. My husband speaks life into mine. He tells me I can do anything I set my mind too. He lifts me up when I am down with words of encouragement. He tells me I’m beautiful when I feel I’m not. When I criticize myself, he corrects me. He doesn’t allow me to speak negatively about myself. Not only does he speak soothing words to me, he helps me speak them to myself. My husband is a source of life to me because of the words he speaks.
Paul gave explicit instruction to the Ephesians when he wrote to them:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)
Speaking uplifting and encouraging words constantly is a challenge. My mother taught me if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. She learned this lesson from Solomon:
“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)
All of us are trees of life if we use wise words. When we speak gently, in truth and love, we are a source of life that has endless possibilities. When our soothing words are grounded in God’s promises, not only will we bring life, but life to the fullest. We will help people realize the power of God’s presence in their lives. The lives of those around us will flourish as they rely on God’s strength, not their own. Their faith will grow as we encourage them to take the next steps in their relationship with God. The garden of friends God has given us will blossom as we speak gentle words of love to them. Soothing words bring life to those who receive them.
Question of the Day:
Who are you going to speak soothing words to today?