Are Your Words Poisoning You?

The Monday Heart-Check!


Are Your Words Poisoning You?


“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;

   with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.”

~Proverbs 18:20 (NIV)

Are you being poisoned by your own words? According to James chapter 3, our tongues and the words that come out of our mouths are very powerful. It says,

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

~James 3:7-12 (NIV)

So this passage is giving us a vivid picture of what happens whenever we speak.

The words that come out of our mouths are either going to bring life, or they’re going to bring death. We are either going to be springs of living water, or we’re going to be springs of poisoned, bitter water.

And according to this Scripture, if we try to do both— if we allow both blessing and curses to come out of our mouths— then what we’re going to reap is not the life, not the blessing, but we’re going to reap the death.

Because the reality is that whatever’s coming out of us, that’s the same thing that’s irrigating our body, our mind, and our soul. We’re eating of the fruit that’s coming out of our own lips.

We see that later on in this passage where it says,

“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

~James 3:18 (NIV)

So, if we’re sowing peace— if the words that are coming out of our mouths are peace and blessings— then we’re going to eat from that same harvest. Conversely,

“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

~1 John 3:15 (NIV)

So understand that whatever you give out is also what you’re going to receive. If you are speaking death, and pain, and destruction into other people’s lives, that is going to come back to bite you— and you’re the one who’s going to reap the harvest.

So the Spirit of Wisdom is coming to us today through the Word of God with a message, to show us that we have to purify our tongues to reap the good things that we desire.

And she tells us in Proverbs 1 how important it is to listen to her voice. She says:

“…since they hated knowledge

   and did not choose to fear the Lord.

Since they would not accept my advice

   and spurned my rebuke,

they will eat the fruit of their ways

and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,

   and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

but whoever listens to me will live in safety

   and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

~Proverbs 1:29-33 (NIV)

So, Wisdom’s telling us the same thing: if we’re complacent and just don’t do the things that God is telling us to do— we don’t make the changes that God tells us to make in the way that we talk— we’re going to eat the fruit of our own schemes.

And maybe some of you are eating the fruit of your own ways right now and you don’t understand why. You’ve been praising God, you’re trying to serve God, but you have anxiety in your life, you’re in bondage to sin. You have all kinds of strife and you don’t know how to get the peace that you’re seeking.

We have to acknowledge that our own wisdom isn’t getting us there.

It’s time to understand that there is a difference between our wisdom, and the Spirit of Wisdom that comes from God. As it says, going on in James 3,

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.“

~James 3:13-17 (NIV)

If you wonder why you’re still in bondage to sin, if you wonder why you still don’t have peace, then understand that, according to the Bible, it’s because you’re eating from the fruit of the things that are coming out of your mouth.

So, understand that our wisdom— which is earthly, unspiritual, even of the devil— tells us that we can have blessing and cursing coming out of our mouths.

The Wisdom from heaven has to be pure, and that Wisdom says you have to be peace-loving and considerate in all of your words— not just some of them.

And according to Jesus, that’s the only way that you can be purified from the inside-out. Because it is your words that will give you life. It is also your words that will defile you. As he said to his disciples,

“‘Are you still so dull?’ Jesus asked them.  ‘Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.?’”

~Matthew 15:16-20 (NIV)

So if you’re feeling spiritually toxified, it’s because the words you’ve been speaking to and about other people are poisonous, or toxic.

They’re not building them up, they’re not believing the best of other people. Instead, they’re designed to tear people down.

Jesus gives you the remedy to your problem in Matthew chapter 5, where He says,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

~Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV)

This is what made Jesus stand out above the crowd. This is what makes Him supernatural.

It’s His supernatural love, which He has caused to be born, by His Spirit, in our hearts.

We are able to go beyond the ways of the world, which say, “Hey, love your friends, but hate your enemies.” We have the power within us to be springs of living water—not only to those who bless us, but also to those who would harm us.

In being that spring, that life, and that light to the world, we will bring many other people to righteousness.

[But] there’s also a benefit for us, because we personally will be eating from that blessing— even if that blessing is not reciprocated.

[Even] if it’s returned with nothing but curses from the other person, what’s outside of us is not going to defile us. It’s what’s coming out of the inside of us that can either defile us or give us life.

So, let the fruit of your lips be the fruit of righteousness, as it says in Hebrews 13:15:

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”

~Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)

Don’t pour forth poison and curses, but pour forth blessings, and blessings will be poured out upon you.

Brothers and sisters, read your Bible— and do what it says!



“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”

John 9:4



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