When I was a kid and someone said something ugly to me, the appropriate reaction was to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I know why I used that phrase. It was a defense mechanism. It was to try to put on that tough exterior; to convince the bully that they had not gotten the best of me; that the names they called me or the things they said about me didn’t bother me. All in hopes that they would stop saying those things.
But no matter how confidently I spouted these words I always knew that it wasn’t true. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now! Broken bones heal, but the wounds from words rarely do. Often, the wounds inflicted by words go much deeper and last much longer than a physical wound ever could. Words are powerful…and the tongue can be most difficult to control.
Words spoken in a moment can create damage for a lifetime. Some people never get over the words we use to describe them or to hurt them. I’m always amazed to hear stories from people about how a simple phrase changed their identity. That’s why it’s so important to speak life into others.
God must have known how challenging this issue is for many of us in our relationships with others. That’s why the Bible is full of instruction on how we use our words. We find this particularly in the power of the Psalms and in the wisdom of Proverbs. This week we will begin a short two-week series on how we use our words. In the first message in the series we will look at how the tone of our words can bring out the best in people and glorify God. This will be a very practical message that you won’t want to miss.
See you Sunday,