You may have heard the phrase “Messenger is Message”. There is much truth in these words. Growing up – I’m sure like so many others did – I heard my mother say “If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all”. This concept is older than our mothers or fathers voices echoing through our childhood. At a point in his ministry, Bible: New Testament author, the Apostle Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, chose to write a letter rather than risking coming across too sharp in person. He wrote, “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.” 2 Corinthians 13:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Apostle didn’t water down his message; he did choose to frame it in a way not including the negative emotion that might have accompanied a live delivery. He was likely aware of the ancient proverb found in the Bible’s Old Testament: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 New King James Version (NKJV). Chances are, daily we each have an opportunity to speak to another person. Let us avoid sharpness in our words so that they may be for edification and not destruction; rather than words that lead to death let us speak life.