Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
A Tale of Two Frogs
The story goes that several frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs quickly gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, they agreed that it was hopeless. They told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.
Unwilling to accept this terrible end, the two unfortunate frogs began to jump with all their might. The other frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless and that the two frogs wouldn’t be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that the doomed frogs should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead.
Still struggling to free themselves, the two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could, and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief. Undeterred, the other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. His companions began anew, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain, and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and – wonder of wonders – finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit!
Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then, gathering around him, asked, “Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?” Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that when he saw their gestures as they shouted, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.
Speak Life with Your Tongue
This simple story contains a powerful lesson that echoes Scripture: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Your encouraging words can lift someone up and help that person make it through the day. Your destructive words can cause deep wounds; what you say might become a weapon that destroys someone’s desire to continue trying.
Make it your habit to speak life to (and about) the people who cross your path. Words have enormous power. If you have words of kindness, praise, or encouragement, speak them now to (and about) others. Someone, somewhere, is waiting to hear your words. The truth is we don’t always know that the people we meet may be trying to escape from some sort of emotional, financial, or spiritual pit. Your words, coming from a genuine and sincere heart, could be the ones to help them out.
Before we can help others, though, we ourselves must first and foremost fill our hearts and minds with the truth of the Word of God. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” Matthew 12:35.
What’s on your mind (and lips)? Use your words to lift someone’s spirits today!
Author: Greg Joyner
Greg was born and raised in the “Tar Heel” State of North Carolina. He enjoyed a successful career with two different corporations in sales, training and market development. In 1991, their family moved to the Philadelphia area and settled in Collegeville. After many years of serving faithfully at Valley Forge Baptist and with much prayer, Greg responded to God’s call to serve Him in full-time vocational ministry. Greg joined the staff of Valley Forge Baptist and was ordained to the ministry in 2003. He received his Biblical studies from Trinity College and Theological Seminary in Pastoral studies with emphasis in Evangelism and Biblical Counseling. Greg loves ministry and currently serves with Missions, Business Leaders and Young Families which includes weekly Bible studies, banquets, retreats, and conferences. Greg and Peggy have been married 36 years and have three children and one grandson.