top of page

The Tongue's Influence: Building Up or Tearing Down

DALL·E 2024-07-07 01.29.48 - A heartfelt scene of two African American friends sitting tog

Image courtesy of : PierceDesigns

Devotional by J.Pierce



"Heavenly Father, we come before You with open hearts, seeking Your guidance as we explore the power of our words. Help us to speak with intention, reflecting Your love and grace. May our words build up and not tear down. In Yeshua's name, Amen."



The tongue is a small but mighty part of our body. Our words can have profound effects, either building up or tearing down those around us. The Bible provides deep insights into the influence of our speech, urging us to use our tongues wisely.

Scripture Exploration:

Proverbs 18:21 (RV 1895)

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."


James 3:5-6 (RV 1895)

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Proverbs 15:4 (RV 1895)

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."

Deep Dive

Proverbs 18:21:

This verse highlights the dual power of the tongue, capable of bringing both death and life. It urges us to be mindful of our speech, as it can produce significant outcomes.

James 3:5-6:

James warns of the tongue's potential for great harm, comparing it to a small spark that can start a large fire. Our words can defile us and disrupt the natural order, emphasizing the need for careful and intentional speech.

Proverbs 15:4:

This verse contrasts wholesome, life-giving speech with perverse, harmful words. It likens positive speech to a tree of life and warns against the spiritual damage caused by negative speech.


Relatable Scenario

Imagine a family where the husband and wife strive to speak kindly and encouragingly to each other and their child. The home becomes a place of love and support, fostering a positive and nurturing environment for their child to grow and thrive. When the husband praises his wife for her efforts and expresses gratitude, she feels valued and motivated. Similarly, when the wife encourages her husband and speaks kindly, he feels respected and appreciated.

Conversely, in a different scenario, imagine a home where harsh words and criticism are common. The husband and wife frequently argue and speak negatively to each other. Their child, witnessing this, feels insecure and anxious. The negative atmosphere impacts the child's emotional well-being and behavior, illustrating how destructive words can tear down a family.

This scenario demonstrates how words can either build up or tear down relationships, especially within a family. Positive speech can create a harmonious and supportive home, while negative speech can cause emotional harm and discord.

Understand the Core Message:

Our words carry immense power and responsibility. They can either build up or tear down, give life or bring destruction. By choosing our speech wisely, we can ensure that our words produce positive outcomes, reflecting Yahweh's love and wisdom.

Common Experiences:

Many of us have experienced the uplifting power of kind words and the devastating impact of harsh ones. Whether in personal relationships, social interactions, or professional settings, the truth of these scriptures is evident in everyday life.

Everyday Challenges:

A common challenge is reacting impulsively with our words in moments of anger or frustration. Practicing self-control and speaking with intention can help mitigate negative consequences and promote positive interactions.

Modern Connections:

Consider politicians who use their platforms to speak to the public. Those who use their words to spread messages of hope, unity, and encouragement can inspire and bring about positive change. Conversely, politicians who use negative rhetoric can incite division and harm, illustrating the far-reaching impact of their words.

Life Stories:

Malik was going through one of the most challenging times of his life. He had recently lost his job and was struggling to find new employment. The mounting pressure of providing for his family and the fear of failure weighed heavily on him. As days turned into weeks, Malik's hope began to fade, and he found himself sinking into a deep depression.

One evening, feeling utterly defeated, Malik confided in his older friend, David. With a heavy heart, he shared his fears, his feelings of inadequacy, and his worries about the future. David listened attentively, without interrupting, allowing Malik to pour out his soul.

When Malik had finished, David spoke. "Malik, I know things are tough right now, but I believe in you. I've seen your dedication, your work ethic, and your love for your family. This is just a setback, not the end of your story. You're young, and have so much to offer, and I am confident that you will find a job where your skills and talents will be valued."

David's words were soothing to Malik's weary soul. He reminded Malik of his strengths and potential, something Malik had lost sight of amid his struggles. David also offered practical help, reviewing Malik's resume and connecting him with potential job opportunities through his network.

Encouraged by David's support, Malik found renewed strength to keep going. Within a few weeks, he secured a job that not only met his financial needs but also gave him a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Malik's experience highlighted the transformative power of kind and encouraging words. David's support had been a turning point, lifting Malik out of despair and setting him on a path to recovery and growth.

This testimony illustrates how supportive and uplifting words can bring hope and healing, demonstrating the profound impact our speech can have on others.

Reflection & Application:

Reflection Questions:

  1. Can you recall a time when someone's words significantly impacted your life, either positively or negatively?

  2. How can you be more intentional about using your words to bring life and encouragement?

  3. What steps can you take to avoid speaking impulsively in moments of anger or frustration?

Practical Steps:


  1. Practice mindfulness and self-control in your speech.

  2. Make a habit of expressing gratitude and appreciation to others.

  3. Engage in active listening to understand others better before responding.

Closing Prayer:

"Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of communication. Help us to use our words wisely and to bring life and encouragement to those around us. Guide our tongues so that we may speak with love, truth, and wisdom. In Yeshua's name, Amen."

Further Study:

  1. Proverbs 10:19

  2. Matthew 12:36-37

  3. Colossians 4:6

Concluding Thoughts:

The power of our words cannot be overstated. By choosing our speech carefully and with love, we can positively influence the world around us. Let us always strive to use our words to build up, encourage, and heal, reflecting Yahweh's grace in every conversation.

Share Your Thoughts (2)

08 de jul.

Our words and actions toward others reflects our spiritual walk as we strive to become more Christ like showing love, kindness and compassion in our daily lives

13 de jul.
En resposta a

So true! I pray that Jesus blesses more of us to see/understand that words are life changing in every situation.

bottom of page