Q: Pastor, what does Proverbs 18:21 mean by, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”?
A: This verse teaches us the importance of the words that come out of our mouths. Our words determine the direction of our life. We can either speak “life to our life” or “death to our life.” Jesus said in Matthew 12:37, “The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.” Romans 10:13 reads, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” You call on the name of the Lord with your words. You can say, “Jesus, I call on You as my Lord and Savior.” Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This is not what the Bible teaches. Our words can produce death, defeat, depression, and discouragement. Or, our words can produce life, hope, peace, and a future. What comes out of our mouths is our choice. We will be ultimately held responsible for our words. (Mt. 12:36) Jesus taught that by speaking to the mountain in faith, it would be removed. Many people are not speaking to remove their mountains. Instead they are using their words to create mountains. Parents, too, need to see the importance of the words that they speak over their children. We should never speak destructive words, which sow seeds of defeat. Ephesians 4:29 declares, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (NIV & NLT scripture references)