Sticks and Stones
We’ve all heard it. Most of us have probably said it at one point or another in our lives: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. It sounds solid enough. I mean, would you rather someone come at you physically or verbally? We’d probably all choose the latter. The problem with the adage is the declaration that no matter what is said, it can’t harm us. Unfortunately, I imagine we’ve all had experiences which proved that to be false.
Cruel or demeaning words can alter our identity. A harsh response can devastate. Even careless comments can greatly wound us. Words are powerful. We need to be careful how we use them.
The Bible speaks a lot about our mouths. It paints pictures of the harm they can do. Proverbs 15:4 says, … a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (NIV) Words can reach into the deepest part of us and snuff out our hope and joy. They can damage us in ways that hurt more and have longer lasting effects than physical blows.
Proverbs 12:18 says, There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts (ESV). Have you felt it? As someone speaks, it’s like a knife is being plunged into your heart.
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can fracture us so deeply we believe the lie that we’re beyond repair. Or not worthy of it. But God can heal and restore the damage done by the things others have said to us. If we let Him.
Proverbs 18:21 reveals the truth about our words: Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (ESV) Oh, may we stop using them as weapons that destroy, but rather as instruments that build up.
Just something that’s burdening my heart along the way.