I think most people can agree that words are powerful. The Bible teaches that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21.) This suggests to me that each one of us has the power to improve or degrade and defile the atmosphere we live in. In the book of James, we read this:
James 3:1-12 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, since you know that we will be judged more severely. 2 For we all stumble in many ways; if someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who can bridle his whole body. 3 If we put a bit into a horse’s mouth to make it obey us, we control its whole body as well. 4 And think of a ship — although it is huge and is driven by strong winds, yet the pilot can steer it wherever he wants with just a small rudder. 5 So too the tongue is a tiny part of the body, yet it boasts great things. See how a little fire sets a whole forest ablaze! 6 Yes, the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness. The tongue is so placed in our body that it defiles every part of it, setting ablaze the whole of our life; and it is set on fire by Gei-Hinnom itself. 7 For people have tamed and continue to tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures; 8 but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! 9 With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing! Brothers, it isn’t right for things to be this way. 11 A spring doesn’t send both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers? or a grapevine, figs? Neither does salt water produce fresh. CJB
As believers in Jesus, we must seek to interact with the Holy Spirit to gain self-discipline, especially in the way we use our tongues. Without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5) but in Him, we can do all things, even control our tongues and words to produce life in the atmosphere around us!
If God inhabits the praises of His people, who or what inhabits our critical words, complaining and gossip?