“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
I couldn’t sleep tonight. I was laying in bed, past midnight with thoughts racing in my head. I felt the need to just write down my feelings and get them off of my chest. The question that hit me when I was laying restless on my pillow was, do your words affect others or infect others? The verb of the word “affect,” means to have influence on or to produce a change in something or someone. While the word “infect” means to affect with a disease causing organism. So both “affect” and “infect” effect some form of change. Confused yet? Affection is a form of the word affect, whereas infection is a form of the word infect. When I hear the word affection, I immediately think of positive things, love, cuddling, touch, fondness, bonding, and caring. When I hear the word infection, I think of disease, pus filled nastiness, and contamination. Words can lift, encourage, love, empower, move, and grow someone if spoken with a motive of affection. Infected words spread, multiply, hurt, offend, contaminate, and can spiritually kill someone. Infections usually start without being seen, then they start to inflame, spread and become noticeable. I guess that’s why it’s good to think before you speak, because the tongue holds a lot of power in either direction. I hope to be mindful of it whenever I’m propelled to use words the wrong way. I hope that if I do spill a contaminating word that God will quicken my heart to apologize for it. I don’t want to infect anyone. I want to affect them by God’s love. He is my source of affection and the antidote for any infection.
“Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.” James 1:20-24