20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Words are often like seeds, which take root and eventually produce fruit. What kind of seeds are you sowing? This will determine what sort of fruit you are filled with – bitter or sweet, wholesome or harmful. Consider two people in identical circumstances. One complains and criticizes, while the other finds something to give thanks for. Each person’s satisfaction has little to do with the situation he is in, and everything to do with how he has chosen to respond.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” There are many things that have the power death, and a few with the power of life – but the tongue combines them both. Whether we build others up with blessings or tear them down with curses is up to us. Either way, eventually we will eat the fruit of our words. As Moses reminded the Israelites in Moab, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”