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Proverbs 18:20

With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.

This proverb is easier to understand once you grasp the original Hebrew meaning of the word for “stomach”. The word for stomach is “beten” which means belly, womb, stomach – but also was used figuratively of the inmost part of a man, the place where thoughts were treasured, or, where the inner spiritual self was expressed or satisfied. This should remind you of our last proverb regarding the spirit…but in this case, not a spirit that is crushed, but a spirit that is satisfied…by your own words.

This certainly isn’t a “name it and claim it” approach, but the principle of sowing and reaping is in full effect based on the words you choose to share with the people in your life. When you speak words of kindness and love, not only is the hearer going to be blessed, but you will as well. God has equipped you via the Holy Spirit to act as His ambassador of love and peace and grace. When you speak accordingly your spirit is knit closer to your Lord’s and you will feel that immediate satisfaction. When you speak harshly you violate the terms of your ambassadorship and the satisfaction will disappear, only to be replaced by shame.

I really like how the “Let God Be True” devotional series on Proverbs addresses the challenge when all face regarding the product of our lips:

“Is it easy to change your speech habits? It is easier to train a cobra to sip milk from a bowl and purr on your lap (Jas 3:1-12). But God gave you Proverbs. Guard your speech. Cut your words in half. Think before you speak. Rule your spirit. Love graciousness. Make every word helpful and kind. Despise harshness. Hate talebearing. Purify your thoughts. Reject foolish indiscretions. Work harder at listening. Build others up.”

We all must remember: Just about every word that we speak to another person has an impact. Sure, some conversations are purely an exchange of information…but even then, your tone and word choice can make a lasting impression. Be sure that the fruit of your lips is sweet to the hearer, and you can rest assured that it will be sweet to your own spirit (stomach) as well!

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