The words we speak are powerful. The words we speak can bring life and peace. The words we speak can affect others either positively or negatively.
In Proverbs 18:21, it says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” That’s a lot of power!
With our words, we have the power to bring life and peace to others. Here are two practical ways to help us accomplish this: (1) We can pause before we speak, and (2) we can aim for and pursue peace as we speak. Pause means a temporary stop or rest, maybe you stop because of uncertainty.
Here are two verses that help us to pause before we speak:
By pausing before we speak, we can consciously decide to speak words that bring life and peace and refrain from speaking words that don’t do that.
Some situations we encounter are more complicated than others. Especially in these situations, it is important to be slow to speak, not hasty in our words.
We see Jesus Christ operating this principle (swift to hear, slow to speak) in a very challenging situation (a situation between life and death). In the record of John 8, the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus a question with the goal of tempting him in order to condemn him. Jesus’ response would directly affect the life of a woman brought before him, who had been accused by men of committing adultery.
In Colossians 3:16, it says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom." The word refers to the lesson learned from certain situations, such as the one in John 8 with Jesus and the woman. Let that word (that life lesson) dwell in your heart and mind. Let it permeate every aspect of your being, as you learn, teach, and share spiritual lessons from life. And admonish (counsel or advise) and train one another with all spiritual wisdom. That's what Colossians says.
Keeping God’s Word as our standard, we have a great resource to help communicate words that can lift a burden, lighten a heart, and bring life and peace. When the Word dwells richly in our hearts—when we are reading and thinking it consistently—it is easier to pause, bring those edifying words of life and peace to mind, and speak them to others.
Follow After Peace
Another practical way we can help assure that our words will bring life and peace to others is to follow after peace. Pursue peace.
In Romans 14:19, it says, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." The Greek word translated “follow after” means to pursue. That is an active word! It reminds me of our Constitution’s preamble, which says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men AND WOMEN are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As we make up our minds to actively pursue what makes for peace and rest and harmony, our words will reflect this. We frame our communications with the aim of bringing life and peace.
How We Say Things
One way we can actively pursue peace in our speech is by watching how we say things, not just what we say. When our body language and tone reflect peace, others are more likely to be peaceful also. Pursuing peace gives us a head start in speaking words that bring life and peace to others.
In summary, we have learned that the words we speak are powerful. Our words can bring life and peace as we choose to base our communications on a standard—God’s Word. As we allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly, we can pause and bring His words of life and peace to our minds and mouths—especially in challenging situations. As we aim for and pursue peace, our communications will reflect the truth of God’s Word in our hearts. We will see that our words do have power to bring life and peace to others.
Read other articles for men related to life and peace.
A couple thousand years ago, a man named Paul wrote a letter to people who lived in Philippi. He was thanking them and teaching them a lesson about handling any situation. He wrote in Philippians 4:11-13:
I encourage you to read more about how to have joy, peace and love in life.
I’m guessing you might agree that worrying about the future is not a pleasant way to spend our time. So, the question I have is: when anxious thoughts arise, how can we stop them? One wonderful principle we can operate is to live one day at a time.
What Me Worry?
Realistically, we do need to think about our future. We need to make plans. That’s for certain. We have calendars filled with important dates and events. We have things to do to enjoy life. For example, I have some volunteering scheduled at my daughter’s school for the upcoming weekend. I have to plan that into my future. But am I worried or anxious about my future plans? No. Do I continually fret over the details of my life’s schedule? No.
Why not? Why am I not worrying about the future? I’d like to share with you what I do, so that you can investigate for yourself if what I do can work for you.
I Do Two Things
I do two productive things to make things happen: (i) I pray and (ii) I make positive plans.
Here’s an example. I have a goal that in 6 months, I’ll have much less fat stuck on my stomach, and I’ll be able to fit into a pair of jeans with a 32-inch waist (currently I’m a 34W, and it used to be 38W).
Am I worrying about this goal? No. Why? I’ve (i) prayed about it (or, said in another way, I focused my thoughts with specific details and assured confidence in success), and (ii) I have made positive plans (in which I realize where I am, and list the future steps to reach my identified future goal).
Planning is Time Travel
I think of planning as a bit like time travel. We travel into the future by planning, because planning is like bringing the future into the present so that we can do something about it today. I recommend reading that again.
Once we pray and plan, we can stop our anxious thoughts about the future by putting the majority of our energy and actions into living one day at a time.
Jesus Lived from Day to Day
Jesus lived and taught his friends to live one day at a time. We read in Matthew 6:25, 28, 31, 34:
The words “take…thought” are translated from a Greek word meaning “be anxious about” or, as we might say, “worry.” Jesus told them not to worry about what they were going to eat, to drink, to wear—not to worry about “the morrow,” the future. He assured them that “sufficient [enough] unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Thayer’s lexicon helps clarify the King James Version of verse 34 as “Let the present day’s trouble suffice for a man, and let him not rashly increase it by anticipating the cares of days to come.” There’s enough to take care of in every twenty-four-hour period. If we try to anticipate the worries of the future, we may actually increase the challenges we’ll need to deal with. We can put our focus into living in the day, right now, the day at hand, the present moment and one day at a time.
E. W. Bullinger translates Matthew 6:34 as follows: “Have, then, no anxiety for any future day….” That includes tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after that. Every care or concern we may have about the future can be handled one day at a time. To live one day at a time, you have to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Enjoy what’s going on right now. You’re not your best if anxieties about the future dominate our thinking.
The Benefits of Worrying
Can you remember the last time you really, practically benefited from worrying a lot? Explain the details of when worrying about something actually helped the situation you were in. See what I mean?
Focus on the Present Moment
So how can we focus our energy into experiencing, living, and enjoying the present moment - the day at hand? I suggest we should daily “perform our vows.”
So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
A vow is a solemn promise you make committing yourself to an act, service, or condition.
This is one of the best things about believing in God: we can perform (or do) what we’ve committed ourselves to do, and do it one day at a time.
What have we committed to do?
Our commitments may include: our marriages, our children, our parent, our jobs, our school, our fellowships, our volunteer work, taking care of the things we own, taking care of our health (ahem), etc. We’re committed to doing certain things. We do our commitments and responsibilities daily.
For example, we love our lover daily. Love ‘em up. Right. And when each day is over, we thank God for our commitments and go to sleep. Staying committed to the things we have at hand, and doing them well, can help us stop worrying “the morrow.”
Doing God’s Word. What’s That Mean?
Spending time in every twenty-four-hour period, each day, with our thoughts focused on doing God’s Word can also help us live day-by-day, and not worry about the future. What does that mean – “doing God’s Word”? Here are a few ideas:
And while we are focusing our energy and actions into living every day with the Spirit, we are daily loaded up with blessings.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Because we pray and plan, we can stop anxious thoughts about the future by living our lives to the fullest one day at a time.
You may be interested in reading Squeeze Your Woman Today.
Mind is Everything
A man is what he thinks. Literally. A man’s character is the sum of all of his thoughts. His mind is everything.
Every action requires a thought. Action blooms from a man’s thoughts. Every act grows and springs from his seeds planted by his thoughts. Joy and suffering may be the fruits of his thoughts. He may reap both the ripe and the rotten of his own mental harvest.
A noble, manly character isn’t created by chance, but by the natural result of continued effort in intentional thinking. Believing. A man is built or destroyed by himself. By thought alone, a man may create the weapons with which he destroys himself. His thoughts can also forge the tools with which he builds himself a comforting armor of joy, power, and peace. Between the Godlike and the bestial are all the of measures of a man’s character, and he is their maker and master.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
You may be interested in reading Learn How Your Spirit Makes Your Work Fruitful.