"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!" Not true. Words can heal or kill. They can speak life or death. They can bring you from a hero to zero. Just watch a middle school girl with all of her friends. When she walks up maybe someone tells her she looks pretty or they like her outfit or hair. She seems to smile bigger and walk taller. The whole school could tell her that and then one mean girl could come up and tell her something negative about her look. She will go home upset. It doesn't matter that 99% were compliments - that 1 % will hurt and she will hold on to that. Think of your spouse. They can tell you, you are beautiful, smart, funny and amazing. But in one moment of anger they can tell you something about you that gets on their nerves. It will cut like a knife. Watch a small child who has been put down verbally. Their whole body shrinks and they look depressed. Watch a small child who is encouraged and they are full of hope and joy. Words are powerful!
The first verse we find in the Bible that shows the power of words is Genesis 1:3, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." This is the third verse of the first book of the Bible! Immediately we are learning the power of words! Everything God makes, He spoke into existence! God's words were so powerful they created everything. Words have the power to give life.
Matthew 21: 18-19, "Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. The Lord spoke and the tree withered away! Words have the power to destroy.
We know words are powerful. We also know we will taste the results of our words whether good or bad. Proverbs 18: 20-21, "From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." I have heard that even though the tongue has no bones, it is strong enough to break a heart.
James 3: 5, "Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." Our words are like dry wood fueling a fire. The devil loves for us to start those fires. Next time you get ready to speak negatively about someone, visualize yourself helping the devil strike the match for the fire that will lead to destruction in that person's life.
"Words are free. It's how you use them that may cost you." unknown Let's be like Mother Teresa who said, "Kind words can be short and easy to spark, but their echoes are truly endless."