No doubt you have heard the expression:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
In reality, however, words can and do hurt – tremendously. Many times the hurt caused by unkind words can in fact do more damage than a broken bone or other type of physical injury (excluding crippling or life-threatening conditions).
Damage done by unkind words often causes emotional pain with long-term effects, to the point that an individual may require extensive counseling, or indeed, may never recover, depending on the severity of the words spoken.
Following up on yesterday’s post entitled Don’t Be a Fool, I would add the admonition to not call someone a fool or any other name that is cruel or degrading. In fact, there are numerous passages in the Bible that address the power of words, for good or bad. I thought I would choose a verse or passage to address for a mini-series on this topic.
For instance, James 3:8-12 discusses how difficult it is for us to control the tongue, even though it’s one of the smallest members of our bodies. The passage presents the irony of how the same mouth can speak contrary things, such as blessings and curses. It’s a lesson in comprehending how abnormal this behavior is, since other living things cannot perform opposite actions – the same spring doesn’t produce fresh and salty water, nor an apple tree produce oranges.
So we should choose our words wisely, and consider the impact our words can have on someone else – like the “Golden Rule” says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The application that would apply here is to SAY the words to other people that you would want them to say to you.
To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. ~Ben Jonson
If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it. ~Earl Wilson
By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. ~Winston Churchill
The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. ~Author Unknown
- Watch Your Language! (personalbrandingblog.com)
- Little Words with Absolutely Huge Meaning – Use Them (businessinsider.com)
- Sticks and Stones (pjamesbaum.wordpress.com)