Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Today I peered into an empty room. A room that once was a home for a patient of mine, but now it’s just an empty space ready to house the next person who will call it home. For how long? Only time will tell but the story remains the same. Those walls will not have mementos forever, soon they will be barren again. Life one day and death the next.
In my field of work death is always lurking, but how easy it is to forget when I see life before me. For some patients I work with an outsider might say, “Hannah, how did you not see that coming?” I did but I didn’t. My patients are never just patients to me. They are precious humans I know my Heavenly Father has placed in my life that we may learn from one another.
As I reflect back on this past week and this patient of mine who has now passed I can’t get out of my mind the word “words.” What did I say, what didn’t I say, what should have I said, did I use my time well in his presence?
I know at the end of the day it is not the physical therapy I provide that is most important, but the words spoken from my mouth and the actions that follow that have power to breath life into my patients. Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
There is one thing all men can’t deny regardless of religion or beliefs and that is the power of the tongue. You want power? Start with your words? You want to see what kind of power you desire? Look at your words. Evil is easy to spot. Just listen and watch. Your speech followed by actions will reveal who you are. Who are you?
How do you wield the greatest weapon known to man - your tongue? Do you speak life or death to those around you including you? “The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue” (The MacArthur Study Bible cf. James 3:6-10).
I pray you consider the speech that flows from your mouth and the actions that follow. Your actions will reveal the genuineness of your words, woe to the man full of empty words (Eph. 5:6).
In a world where circumstances are often outside our control I pray you realize you have power in how you respond to everything and everyone around you. No man can make you say something. You control the words that leave your mouth. Consider how your words are influencing your thinking and others thinking. In an evil world may you be a light in the darkness speaking words that encourage and build others up. You have that power, use it well for you know not when death will come for you or those around you. I pray you choose to speak life!
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer (gossip), quarreling ceases.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Matthew 12:35-37 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (cf. Luke 6:45).
Colossians 4:5–6 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.