I was thinking while eating lunch today about how people love to quote Proverbs 18:21 (Death and life are in the power of the tongue) and sing songs that say "I shall live and not die." I know in most cases, we're saying that to ourselves, but here's a question: are we speaking life to others or are our words killing others? As many times that we can say to ourselves that we're speaking life, I'm willing to say that our words are actually harming others. Why? We're innate selfish!
Before you stop reading, think about it for a minute. How do we kill others? When we down them because of where they are in life or perhaps they may not be a spiritual as you. We speak death to others when we give off a "holier than thou" tone. We speak death to others when God is not the focus of your speech and it's your pride and ego in the way. We tend to speak death those who don't have the same personality as you or who don't bow down to you. I'll use a perfect example as to how our words kill others. When you keep telling people (as you're speaking life to yourself) that you interact with the following phrases, "You're incompetent, you're just like your mother/father - a good for nothing; you'll never be better than me; God's favor is on me and you'll be blessed if you do what I tell you to do; you're old; you're deteriorating; you're just like the other men; you're too good for me; you're not good enough; you're not spiritual enough to be in my circle; you're not like my pastor" and the list goes on. When a person hears phrases like this from you, whether you know it or not, you are abetting in a person's physical death, mental death or worse, spiritual death. Another example is this: at my former church, the pastor would say cursed are those who didn't attend his church.
Here's something that you may not have thought of, our silence can actually speak death to others. When we don't stand up for the truth and remain silent, we're actually speaking death to everyone around you. Sure, we can speak life unto ourselves and puff ourselves up, we might want to be careful because we can end up acting just like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14. Check this out: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Just a short message to say this: if we can encourage ourselves and speak life to ourselves, speak life to a hurting soul and drop your ego, pride and anything else that may give the tone of speaking death. We can't afford to have our words killing another person.