Sticks and Stones
Most of us are familiar with this adage or idiom -
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Although this saying seems to empower, it is ghastly inaccurate. I contend that words do even more damage in a far-reaching capacity than sticks and stones. Words have the power to reach into the deepest parts of our heart and soul, creating indelible wounds that spread and fester like gangrene. Words can crush the soul but Jesus, the Word made flesh can revive the soul.
Words have the extraordinary ability to build up or tear down. Rarely are words neutral. The Bible is abundantly clear that words have the power to speak life or death. Most of us are probably walking around with a wound from words used a long time ago. Words and wounds from these words have powerfully fashioned us and have given us the filters by which we hear and interpret words today. Whether it is words from others, ourselves, or the haunting voices from within, words have incredible power. They will either wither the soul or empower the soul to flourish. Words are never indifferent.
We live in an era where interpersonal communication is a lost art. Text messaging, social media platforms, and other technological mediums are regrettably the harbingers of communicating. This is causing a myriad of impersonal, insensitive, aggressive communication pitfalls. Bullying, including Cyber Bullying, is driving an onslaught of suicide and depression. Being connected virtually has increased isolation. Our inability to be intentional with our words have ruptured relationships and crushed souls. The lack of discernment, compassion, and intentionality with our words, through social media and messaging, are destroying relationships at an alarming rate. According to John 10:10, “The thief (our enemy) comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” However, Colossians chapter 2 assures us that our enemy has been disarmed through the Cross of Jesus Christ. So the question remains, by what means does our enemy steal, kill, and destroy if he has been disarmed? He does this by the words we give him. He takes our words and uses them to his advantage and the demise of relationships. We give him the weapons. We stock his arsenal. However, Jesus, the Word made Flesh, came to give life and life more abundantly.
Let us stop giving an abundance of weapons to our enemy and intentionally choose to spread life with our words!