“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21


I don’t know about you, but in the winter I love a fire. The fireplace in our home burns almost non-stop during the winter months, from the first cold snap until the last winter breeze. We often joke that we could forge metal in our living room from the constant roaring flames that we continually burn.

If you have a fireplace you understand the importance of having the right type of wood. In the south we knew to never burn pine because the sap would formulate on the inside of the chimney and could eventually catch fire burning your home down. Old rotten wood is not any good because; while it might light quickly it is just as quickly consumed having no value toward a lasting fire. Then there is fresh wood. Freshly cut wood has potential but is almost as useless as rotten wood except instead of being quickly consumed, it is nearly impossible to catch fire.

The perfect kind of wood for that warm winter’s night fire is seasoned hardwood. Seasoned wood is a log that has been cut and remained outside for at least one season. The wood is not rotten, but instead is perfect for lighting quickly yet burning for a long period of time. Just a little bit of good seasoned wood will burn for hours and provides a nice long evening of warmth for everyone around.

The words we use are much like selecting wood for a winter’s fire. The words we choose can mean the difference in freezing to death in loneliness or being warmly embraced in friendships.




SAPPY PINE: Sappy Pine words are often liked at first because they catch fire quickly as they stroke our ego. Those who use these words don’t necessarily mean what they say and often have selfish motives behind the compliments. They are just words that are an outward front covering up inwardly opposite feelings. If we build a relationship based on these, we find it flames up quickly to only later cause a lot of damage in our lives.


ROTTEN WOOD: These are the negative words that quickly flame up and consume us. Rotten words destroy friendships, relationships and our future. They catch fire and flame up before we know it and it is generally too late. The negativity intertwines in the fibers of who we are and who we have become to the point we don’t even realize how evident it is to others. People will avoid those who are negative, yet the person never realizes the reason’s why because his or her negativity is such a part of who they are.


FRESHLY CUT: Fresh wood is seasoned wood in the making but it is not ready for the task at hand. Generally coming from those who don’t mean to do wrong or cause damage, these folks just don’t know any better. Those who use these words can often be immaturely self-centered and focused on themselves, much like a child.


SEASONED: There is nothing like seasoned words. These are the best because they are well thought out, meaningful, unselfish and encouraging. Those who speak a seasoned word bring timely encouragement to those in need. The words burn positive flames in the lives of those around them, warming everyone they meet. Those who develop the art of expressing seasoned communication attract people; they are those who everyone desires to be around. They are uplifting and unselfish like a warmly glowing fire on a cold winter’s night.


Just as the type wood determines the effectiveness of a nice winter fire, our words can determine our life’s path. If we choose words of negativity or complaining we will find that our lives are filled with negative events. Should our words always focus inwardly, then we will miss out on the beauty of the lives of those around us. Yet, if we choose positive and uplifting words, then we begin to see opportunities even in the coldest moments of life.


Examine your words this week. Ask yourself:

  • If I were on the receiving end of my words, would I want to be around me?
  • What percentage of my words is about me? Do I talk about “me” too much?
  • Do my words encourage others?
  • Are my words reflective of whom I want to be?
  • Am I expressing a “can do” spirit?


Changing the words you use can change your entire outlook on life and better yet, CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE’S PATH!




We control what rolls off the end of our tongue; no one else can. Our words are a choice that we make every time we open our mouth to speak.


It is freeing and powerful when we take control of our lives through the power of the words we choose. Choose to be a seasoned fire that everyone wants to be around and watch your life begin to burn with passion, purpose and friends.


“A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.”

Emily Dickinson





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