Ever felt words hit hard as a fist?

Ever felt them thrill you?

Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost three decades, knew the power of words. He has said, “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”• Watch the transformation of a happy child—one who hasn’t learned how to hide their feelings yet—being yelled at and you’ll see the power of words to crush a spirit.• Watch a couple as they enter a covenant relationship with each other before God in vows of holy wedlock, and you’ll see the power of words to make two become one.

Proverbs shares these truths about the words we speak:❖ “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”  ❖ “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.”❖ “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Remember: The tongue has no eraser.

So be a smart mouth.

Taste your words before you speak.

Ask yourself—are they bitter or sweet? Are they life-giving, refreshing and gentle?

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