You’ve heard the expression “seeing is believing?” What if I told you that “saying is believing?” In Proverbs 18 we read that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” I’d like to test that theory.
Often people will state the negative before anything happens. “I’ll probably forget.” “I’m going to trip.” “That person will never help out.” “Watch the opposite of what we hope for happen.” When people say this, do they usually end up being right?
Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, completed a study to test out the theory that positive thinking had a profound impact on people’s skills. In the experiment, the first groups watched film clips that expressed happy emotions. The next groups saw neutral images. The final groups saw images that created feelings of anger or fear. Each participant was then given a piece of paper with the phrase “I would like to…” followed by 20 blank lines. The participants who saw positive images had the most responses compared to the other groups.
According to the Mayo clinic, “Positive thinking often starts with self-talk.” They also explain that self-talk is not only the words you say but the thoughts that play in your head frequently and that self-talk can be positive or negative. Those who practice more positive self-talk are usually healthier, cope with stress better, are less likely to have cardiovascular problems, have greater resistance to the common cold, better coping skills, and lower rates of depression. An example of positive thinking would be to look at a difficult situation and when tempted to say, “There’s no way this will work,” you instead say, “I can try to make it work.”
Stress, in contrast, can produce an upset stomach, depression, and even physical hurt. Some research is now suggesting that negative emotions and thoughts can even be linked to heart disease.
I was taught that Proverbs 18:21 reveals to us that what we say impacts the outcomes in our life. Some people I know will say, “Speak life into your situation!” In other words, speak positively and expect good things to happen. Dare to hope for the best. Perhaps it’s true that what we say and what we believe have a direct effect on our outcomes.
Speaking “life” doesn’t mean you are in denial of reality. It means that you have an understanding that what you say about yourself and your circumstances has in impact on your health, how you feel, and what you’re able to accomplish. So I would encourage you to speak LIFE.