The Power of Words

The Power of Words

No doubt you have heard the expression:

Sticks and stones may break my bones,  but words will never hurt me.”

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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

*** Quotes from  ***

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17 thoughts on “The Power of Words

  1. K’Lee,
    You’ve brought up some great points about the power of words. Using words to empower people is awesome. Remembering to only say to others what you would want said to you is a good point. No one wins when we use words to hurt.

    Val 🙂

  2. Hey K.Lee, Thanks for writing this. It is such a great reminder. I usually say a lot of sarcastically “funny” stuff about others with my husband and I know that isn’t right. Words do cut like knives and so I will do better!

  3. Hey.. I found your site through the blog challenge! I see words as creative. When they leave your mouth with intent they are going to create something. Harmful intent destroys and loving intent creates. Let us all strive to be creative with our words!
    Please join me today for Share Your Strengths Sunday on my blog

  4. There is a wonderful “story” for this concept that you may never have heard.
    Someone who termed a person a fool to his neighbor. The scholar who heard this advised the person why he was in total error and to cease such discussion. The perpetrator was also asked to write down his reasons why such a statement on a piece of onion skin (deliberately lightweight paper) was made. When he brought this to the scholar, the scholar tore up the paper into little bits and threw them out the window. As the wind picked up the pieces and spread them about, the scholar advised the person that his words were like the paper shreds being spread by the wind. And, that he should try to pick up all the pieces. When the (slanderer) replied, it was impossible because they were off to the four corners of the world, the scholar so advised him “so were your ill-chosen words”…

  5. Words are so important and yet somehow it has become very acceptable to be ‘slack’ with them…..I am constantly amazed when folk ask,”What WAS your name?” Actually I am alive and well so, “What IS your name?” would be more appropriate!

  6. I absolutely agree that words are very powerful and yet you have to be careful in every words that comes out from your mouth, other than that it destroys someone’s life and it hurts someone’s feelings. Thanks for sharing this wonderful write ups I appreciate it.
    Owen@Car Stories recently posted..Bank Repossessed CarsMy Profile

  7. I cannot tell you how many times I have been guilty of saying such hurtful words that you can’t take back…very damaging to relationships and the present. Then as you grow as a person, you hurt again…realizing the damage you caused and wonder how that changed the course of life or if it did…or was that the original course? Great thoughts!

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