Sticks, Stones, Broken Words and Broken Hearts
Do you remember the old children’s nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? Of course you do….we have all said it or heard someone recite it at one time or another as protection from the pains of schoolyard bullying or name-calling. But as life would teach us (and I’m sure you would agree) we soon learned that words can and will hurt us. Now that I’m older I really don’t like this nursery rhyme because I feel that it is a lie and a sham. It’s a half-truth and in essence we are teaching our children to lie at an early age, because a half-truth is in fact still a lie. You may feel that I’m being harsh, but I feel that we (as a society) have become desensitized to the fallout and the after effects of harsh words. The truth is….sticks and stones may cause physical pain, but negative words have the ability to cause emotional, mental, and spiritual pain a very long time after they been spoken and forgotten by the offender.
Words have power in the natural realm but they also have power in the spiritual realm. Why do you think King Solomon penned, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (ESV). Do you know what that verse really means? It means that the words we speak have power. They have power to produce life and to produce death and destruction in our own lives as well as the lives of others. Just think of how many people have caused the demise of their own lives or the lives of others by the use of rash, heartless, brutal, nasty, gossipy, hurtful and slanderous words. I have seen first-hand how the use of negative words spoken over children can manifest in their lives as adults. You see, words are like seeds and they have the ability to penetrate the soil of our hearts and thoughts, and they will produce a harvest in due season. So the next time you feel you need to speak negatively over your life or into someone else’s life, please think long and hard about it because the consequences are far-reaching. And, believe it or not you will be held accountable for the harsh words you speak.
Don’t believe me….well check this out. Matthew 12:36 says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak.” There it is in black and white, well actually red in my Bible because Jesus said it. We will be held accountable for the words we speak, and I don’t think God will accept any reason or excuse we give him for our careless words. Unloading on someone because you are hurt is unacceptable. Murdering someone with your words is unacceptable. Nope, sorry to tell you but God is not going to accept any excuse. So be careful of the words you speak to others as well as to yourself. You are not exempt. We are made in God’s image. He created us in his image (Genesis 1:27) so if we go around speaking death in our own lives and to others how do you think that makes God feel? So many times when we are speaking foolishly and letting idle words roll off our tongue we don’t think about what we are saying and we don’t think that God is listening, but he is. When we speak hurtful and negative words we are speaking against our very own faith.
James 3:5-10 (ESV) says, 5“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God (HELLO SOMEBODY). 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
What powerful passages!!!! These scriptures should be illuminated across our hearts and ingrained in our minds daily so as to keep us from sinning against God and others with our mouths.
It is my desire that you would stop and examine the words you speak and speak only what is edifying to the Lord and others. If you feel that you have a problem with speaking negatively you have to get to the root of the problem: your heart. “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” Luke 6:45 (ESV).
Speaking hurtful and negative words is a heart issue that can only be changed by the blood of Jesus. I want to encourage you to seek God and be intentional about the words you speak. God is able and willing to help you. Lord, thank you for the power of our words. Forgive us when we speak negatively and against those that you have created in your image, including ourselves. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within each of us. Amen.
SPEAK WORDS THAT PRODUCE A HARVEST OF LOVE, JOY, HOPE, HEALING AND BLESSING.
- Syneka E. Evette from “STRENGTH & VIRTUE™ : SPEAKING TO THE HEART OF WOMEN”