“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
My ministry is called Speaking Life Ministries for a very specific reason. There was a [long] period in my life where my thoughts and words were incredibly negative. Usually it was reserved to self-talk. I was very hard on myself and believed that nothing good would ever happen to me, no one would ever find me attractive, life would always be challenging…and the list went on and on. I rehearsed that list over in my head every single day, and the people around me were just as discouraging; letting me believe that people would not like me because of the way I looked, that I was not smart, that I didn’t need advanced education… The words I heard and spoke to myself were leading me into a pit of despair. I do not even remember now what event took place that caused me to stop and think differently about the words I choose.
The acronym S.P.E.A.K. in my ministry name stands for Support –Praise-Exhortation-Affirmation-Kinship. These are all things every one of us needs, and every one of those actions, requires speech. Words have an incredible impact whether positive or negative. It is not necessary to say hurtful things to people, and contrary to the world’s belief, it is not necessary to use profane language. It is necessary to build people up. People want to be successful and they want others to want them to be so. Providing encouraging words and supportive feedback adds to a person’s self-esteem and lets them know there is someone there who genuinely cares about them.
It is necessary to practice positive self talk. It is equally important to praise and exhort others. It is perfectly acceptable to recognize someone for doing a good job. It is ok, to say to yourself – great job! Goodness and kind words provide the energy to keep people moving forward and not backward. Don’t let pride or jealousy keep you from speaking good things. When you speak well of and to others, do well for unto others, you will reap the harvest of your goodness. Try it and see.
It is necessary to build and maintain a relationships of kinship. Being friendly is so much less work. Learn to create great friendships by speaking life into someone else’s life, as well as your own. Look at the phrases below and take them with you. Use them to minister to others. By speaking life to each other, we are changing the course of our own lives. Remember the power of life and death is in your tongue. Are you living, or dying? Are you helping someone else live?
I can’t do it, it’s impossible!
GOD SAYS: To the believer, all things are possible – Luke 18:27
I give up, I am exhausted!
GOD SAYS: Wait on me, I will renew your strength – Isaiah 40:31
Nobody loves me or ever will!
GOD SAYS: My love for you will last forever – John 31:3
I will never be able to move on!
GOD SAYS: My grace is sufficient for you – II Corinthians 12:9
Help! I don’t know what to do!
GOD SAYS: Trust me, I will direct you – Proverbs 3:5-6
I can’t do this!
GOD SAYS: You can do all things through me – Philippians 4:13
It’s just not worth it!
GOD SAYS: It will be, just keep going – Galatians 6:9
I will never forgive myself!
GOD SAYS: Yes, you can. I have – Ephesians 4:32
I am so scared!
GOD SAYS: I did not give you a spirit of fear… -II Timothy 1:7
I will always be broke!
GOD SAYS: I will supply all of your needs…-Philippians 4:19
I know I can’t handle this!
GOD SAYS: Give your burden to me, I will carry it – Psalm 55:22
If only I had a clue!
I am all alone!
GOD SAYS: I will never leave you or forsake you – Hebrews 13:5
Modified from “Immovable Faith-Learning to Trust God Through Life’s Storms” by Shaunna Jackson