Monday, December 8, 2008

Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me". Do you remember this saying? Maybe from your childhood?

How about this one? "Bounces off me and sticks to you like glue"

Here's one more. "I know you are but what am I?"

I remember these sayings but more than that, I remember believing them. I believed that words weren't supposed to be considered as damaging. I believed that physical pain was much worse than emotional pain. I believed you could combat someone’s hurtful intent with a smart comment back to them. I bought into it hook, line and sinker. How about you?

If its true that physical hurt is harder to endure than emotional hurt then why is it that the words that someone says can stick to us for a lifetime?

They stick to us for a lifetime because they do hurt us. Words can go deep into our minds when we are young and shape us emotionally. Sticks and stones may break our bones and then bones quickly heal, but emotional scares can take a lifetime to get over. Words can cut us to the bone. We learn from childhood how to use them as weapons and we all have scares that are still tender from them.

With our tongue, we can edify and uplift or we can destroy and tear down. We can be careless with our words or sometimes even use them intentionally to inflict pain. What better way to jab someone where it hurts than a well timed comment targeted at their insecurities. I have even seen others disguise there hurtful intent by calling it “I’m trying to help that other person". How about a judgmental word or calling into question someone’s integrity?

We are not to sin with our tongue.

Psalm 39:1 - I said “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."

James calls the tongue a fire, a world of iniquity set on fire by hell in chapter 3 verse 6. Then in Chapter 3 verses 8-9 he says this: "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God."

Set on fire by hell, what a strong statement. Unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Wow! The same tongue we bless God with is full of deadly poison to curse men with.

So I ask, if words can hurt someone for a lifetime but no man can tame the tongue, what are we to do?

I believe we once again must take this issue back to our Savior, our God and ask for His help. We must place it in His hands and ask Him to transform us, change us and give us self control. All things .... once again come back to God. It is through His power we are given the ability to change and learn self control.

Back to the Father we should go, in prayer. Lord tame our tongue for we can not. Amen.


Peter P said...

I'm completley with you!

There are so many parts of me that are still screwed up from words that were said to me in my childhood.

Thanks for the great teaching!

Judi Lynn Lake said...

Hi Sherri -- here, you've said it all, ".... It is through His power we are given the ability to change and learn self control. ..." and how true it is -- There isn't a moment that I don't silently pray to the Lord for Him to make me the woman He wants me to be because left on my own, I'm a mess - Great post as usual, Sherri - Thanks for your words of wisdom!