We’ve all heard the saying, Stick and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Well, I think it’s safe to say, that’s not at all true. Words hurt deeply. We’ve all been there. Gotten heated and said something in haste we wish we could take back. Or in true social media fashion, we take to the keyboard and let out our frustrations and unleash them on the platform of our choice. Or on occasion we’ve even taken a passive-aggressive approach and said something in “jest” ever to be certain to throw in the, “I’m just kidding” phrase. Let’s all be honest and raise our hands here. Lately though, in true Psalm 139:23-24 fashion, God has had me searching my soul regarding my speech. God’s word has so much to say about this topic.
Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Man, that one truly convicts me. If I were standing in the presence of the King of my heart, would I still speak the same or would I take a moment and word it so as not to offend the King? If I would do that for Jesus, shouldn’t I do that for my friends and family or even a stranger?
Proverbs 12:18 – “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Our tongues have a lot of power, and that is confirmed in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” When I read these verses, I almost want to weep. When I reflect on my days as a young mom, I remember the times I lashed out at my babies because I was stressed and at my breaking point. I often apologized later and told them that Mommy said some mean things that she shouldn’t have said, but the words were out there. I prayed that God would speak truth to their hearts and help me to do the same. That he would be the healing balm to mend their spirits.
Now when I mention all the above instances, I know the word tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So if you are someone who has struggled with the same things as me, don’t let yourself live in guilt over it. I think the Lord would have us confess it, forget it, and drive on. I know I try not to obsess about the past but instead give it to God and try to be better going forward. I also don’t want to make anyone feel as though they have messed up so much that it’s just hopeless. God can make all things new. Even relationships that could have been damaged because of our words. I would encourage you today though, if God brings someone to mind that you may have hurt or offended, go to them and make it right. God will bless your obedience in that. I do think that God desires all of us to examine ourselves and our speech and ask him to set burning coals on our tongues at times because we are a people of unclean lips. (Isaiah6:5)
Sticks and Stones may break our bones and words can truly hurt others. Let’s start fresh today and let our words be like honey, not like a thrashing sword that wounds.