We were taught this as children, but is it true? James, the half-brother of Jesus had this to say on the matter:
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Great boasts, restless evil, and deadly poison do not sound harmless to me. God spoke the universe into existence with his words and declared it to be good. Similarly, our words bring to life what is in our minds and they either bless or curse. Gossip, slander, and lies are death by a thousand cuts and ruin a man’s reputation; often without him even knowing it. Likewise, positive reports, words of praise, and encouragement pave the way for a man entering a new endeavor. How often do you make it a point to tell your supervisor what a great job a fellow employee is doing? Not often I’ll wager, and the reason is insecurity. We desire that praise for ourselves, yet are reluctant to give it to others. Only a fully actualized, highly differentiated individual has the emotional capital to make such investments.
Positive words will always find their way back to you. Treat others the way you want to be treated is the golden rule and it applies equally to speech. Speak of others the way you want them to speak of you. No good deed goes unnoticed and your father in heaven is rich in blessings. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that a redeemed man can learn to control his speech, but it first begins with renewing your mind, the originator of speech. We are admonished to renew our minds with scripture and to put on the mind of our savior. It is a gradual process, not an event, and takes time to spiritually mature.
Let’s consider self-talk. What do you say about yourself? Do you constantly speak into existence negative reinforcements that diminish your potential and self-esteem? Do you say such things as “Why am I so stupid?” or “I am such a loser.” If so, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Changing your self-image is a multi-faceted process, but it can begin simply by changing what you say, even if at first you don’t believe it. Mike Cernovich is an incredible self-promoter. He has a great chapter on this topic in his book Gorilla Mindset. He encourages people to “fake it until you make it.”
This is not as silly as it sounds nor is it self-deception (which I loathe). Tony Robbins has made millions teaching people the power of positive thinking, but we are taking it one step further with power of positive speaking. Remember, words bring thought into reality. There are only two things within a human’s power to control: your will and your reaction. Speak into existence positive things for yourself and your will engages to make them a reality. Don’t say “Someday I am going to be successful.” Right now, start identifying as successful.
Let me share an example with you. I invest in real estate rental properties. People frequently ask me about it. I used to downplay it as no big deal. Not anymore. Now I reply as a successful property investor. Why? #1 Because I am, #2 Because I want to be, #3 Because I want to be seen in that light, and #4 Because enthusiasm is contagious. Scale doesn’t matter. If I only owned one rental property and managed it well, it is all true. Powerful speech affects outcomes. I recently replaced most of my wardrobe to match that image. I am successful and will dress the part. It becomes a self-fulfilling cycle of positive reinforcement and momentum that will keep growing.
Words can hurt you, and none more so than your own. Stop thinking negative thoughts, and for your own sake STOP speaking them into existence. You will be amazed what a huge impact such a small step will make. You have the power to exercise your will and choose how to respond. Choose abundance and blessing, not defeat and curses.