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Did I say that?

Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.  Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose.  (Proverbs 18:20-21)

I love it when fruits and veggies come in season in the local market. The winter veggies are okay - but the summer ones taste way different. The winter fruits are limited - but the floodgates seem to open in summer to melons, berries, citrus, mangos, pineapples, and the list goes on. This is the best time of year to enjoy some of the fruits of the season.  The melons are juicy and sweet.  The grapes are colorful and tasty.  The strawberries boast luscious enjoyment and a sweet scent.  Fruit has a way of satisfying our senses - both internally (our taste buds) and externally (sight and smell).  There is another kind of fruit we might enjoy a little better if we realized we might just "eat it" or "experience the fragrance of it" at a later time!

Good talk - fruit for our souls, nourishment for our minds, and health for our bodies.  This is indeed a harvest we could ALL get into!  We all have experienced the times when we say something without thinking, or get caught up in responding before we really take time to listen.  The end result is usually words that perhaps seem a little "bitter" and with an unanticipated tendency to "repeat" on themselves!
Scripture puts it out there - they are either poison or fruit - the choice is ours! We have a choice about the words we speak as much as the words we DON'T speak. Words have much more power than we give them credit for - like fruit fuels our bodies - words fuel our worries and ignite our frustrations, or they build up our faith and encourage our progress!  

Words that are spoken without thought are equated to those spoken from the mouth of a fool.  "Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth." (vs. 2) Did anyone say "ouch" on that one? Words often show just how much judgment a person exercises! A fool is one who lacks judgment - therefore, when words are spoken without prior thought, they are equated to be "foolish". 
If they come from an inner place of 'heart', they are often equated to being as refreshing as an artesian well in the middle of a hot desert.  "Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs." (vs. 4)  An artesian well is covered by impermeable rock. The water which rises from this well is that which is coming forth "under pressure" - it rises to the surface because their is pressure exerted that actually lifts it to the surface. The water finds a path of release. It seems to defy gravity. There is no need to manually bring it to the surface, as with a traditional well. In fact, in the path from within that water passes through so many filters it is sweet when it comes forth! That is certainly some food for thought! When we allow time for the "pressures" to give rise to the words through a path which seems impenetrable, there is an opportunity for them to pass through the "Holy Spirit filters" which might just purify them a little more!

People who speak first and think later often would do better to have a gag in their mouth! "The words of a fool start fights; do him a favor and gag him."  (vs.6) Wouldn't it be nice to have an invisible hand placed over our mouths whenever we would began to speak something unwholesome or cutting? Well, guess what? We have such a "gag" at our disposal - he is called the Holy Spirit! If we speak before listening we will produce "sourness" much like we experience when we bite into fruit which has not ripened. "Answering before listening is both stupid and rude."  (vs. 13) We have a tendency to jump to conclusions - don't we? We want to jump in with both feet - sometimes into issues that are clearly not our responsibility, or which will not be benefited by our involvement. It is both stupid and rude. Words like this are indeed mentally dull, foolish, and senseless! Words which don't have prior thought often reflect just how "dull" we can be in our thinking. Words which are spoken in haste are indeed foolish - they bring out our worst, not our best. Words which are without some kind of "covering" are indeed senseless!  

We choose the harvest we produce. We can allow pressures to create some supernatural filters in our lives, so words take some time to get to the surface, or we can give full vent to them with the dullness and senselessness of a fool. The choice of our words determines the enjoyment (or misery) of the harvest!  Just sayin!

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