For reading & meditation - Proverbs 15
"The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life '" (v.4)
Today we focus on the healing power of kind and encouraging words. When Sigmund Freud found out that symptoms of emotional distress could be relieved simply by talking in certain ways to his patients, he was deeply interested and intrigued. His training in what is known as "the medical model" had conditioned him to think of people as merely biological and chemical entities whose problems arose from physical malfunctioning. If Freud had spent some time reading the book of Proverbs, he might have been less surprised to discover that words have such a powerful impact. Most psychotherapy has to do with letting people talk. When people put their feelings into words, it seems as if the pent up emotion flows out through the words. In the USA there is a special phone line you can ring where, after you?ve given your credit card number, a person will spend three minutes giving you some encouraging and heartening words. The service, I understand, has become a growth industry. As I was preparing this page, I thought of the most influential and healing words anyone had ever spoken to me. I thought hard and remembered a friend coming up to me at my wife's funeral and saying: "You will be in my thoughts every hour of the day." How different from the sincere and well-meaning person who said to me at the same event: "Be brave." We can't change the things we said yesterday, but think of the possibilities ahead of us today and tomorrow. Don't wait another day - start now. Thank God that not only death, but life also, lies in the power of the tongue.
Prayer: Father, help me minister life through my tongue this very day. Give me opportunities to put into action what I have heard and help me recognize those opportunities. I long to be all You want me to be. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What does the law of God in our hearts produce?
2. If we want to speak wise and just words, what sort of people must we be?