Al Chet

Elul 8

And for the sin which we have committed before You

with an utterance of the lips.


Death and life are in the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21) 

Do you realize the tongue is a fruit-bearing instrument? Growing up I knew it was a weapon, for I knew its wounds full well. But what I had failed to realize was that it was a fruit bearer.


Fruit is the evidence there is life in a tree. It holds the seeds of the next generation of little trees, which will grow up to bear fruit as well. Likewise, what flows out of the mouth gives evidence to the fruit that is flourishing in the life of the speaker. If life is flourishing, there will be life giving words. If pain is flourishing, it will show up in the words. And if there is anger, hatred, contempt (all of death), then those things have taken root, and they will show up as well. Even lying is evidence of this death, because there is fear of the truth being known, and that fear is not from Adonai (Romans 8:15-17).


Let’s clarify. Pain expressed is not a sin. Sometimes we need to express those negative emotions for the purpose of healing. But, trying to win people to your side; expressing hateful, judging comments about your offender; cursing; or even just proclaiming your apathy – these things cannot bring healing, they only spread the bitterness from you to others.

Adonai, I long to only speak life, not death, out of the overflow of Your Life in me. Help me guard my words, keeping my tongue captive to You. I do not want to love the sound of my own voice more than I love Your truth or more than I love those around me. Help me to employ the tools and resources You have given me to bring healing to myself and others. I thank You that I do not walk alone, and that Your Ruach has given me His fruit to control my tongue – may life, Spirit, and truth be all that flows through my words.