Galatians 5:19 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident…” Matthew 7:15 was speaking about false prophets, but it bears true for one who walks in the flesh. Verse 16 says, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?”
Does that remind you of James 3:11-12? He wrote about our tongue. It says, “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”
Now let’s jump to Proverbs 18:20-21. It says, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Death words bear flesh-fruit, and life-giving words bear fruit that encourages, strengthens, builds up, and imparts grace to the hearers. Our words impact. If you have ever been slammed by a death word then you know that is true.
There was a lady in my church growing up (with the Lord now) whose words exuded encouragement. Folks flocked around her because she always had a smile and a kind word. I remember others that folks tended to shy away from. A gentle versus a caustic spirit. Which are you?
Ephesians 4:29 is a great character thermometer. It says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” I wrote an ebook called, “Honey-Laced Words.: imparting grace to your hearers” It is also chapter five in “Victorious Heart: intimate communion with God.”
One time, when we were out of the country on a short term mission trip, we all ate corrupted fruit. At least that was my definition of worm infested fruit. You know the saying, ‘What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you?’
We were driving back from a night of ministry. Our driver stopped the van and told us that we could get out and pick some fruit. We filled several boxes. We all ate this fruit in the dark. In the morning I went to the box to get another piece of fruit. It was crawling with worms.
I hope that is a good visual for what the Lord sees—worms crawling all over our thoughts based on our flesh. What fruit are we offering to others through our words which are first thoughts?
When we spend time with the Lord through His word, our thoughts will be saturated with truth. We will heed His voice, do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments, and keep them—avoiding many spiritual diseases caused by our disobedience.