As children, most of us probably heard the chant,
"sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."
None of us really believed it to be true. Most of the time, it was said in response to some childhood name calling. It was offered as a shield, and diversion, to protect ourselves from the sting of the verbal attack we were enduring. The truth of the matter is that,
words are often at lot more damaging than sticks & stones.
While the pain caused by sticks & stones lasts only a relatively short time, the pain of misused words can last a prolonged period, even a lifetime.
Words we usually utter in frustration, aggravation, or anger are meant to hurt someone, and to put them in their place. Gossip so easily started, or passed on, can cause untold damage. The damage that words can do is more equivalent to that of boulders & telephone poles rather than to that caused by sticks & stones.
As is the case for all aspects of our humanity, Almighty God, through the Holy Bible, addresses the power of words.
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
"A false accusation is as deadly as a sword, a club, or a sharp arrow."
"Their tongues are like deadly snakes; their words are like a cobra's poison."
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked."
Words can calm, build up, & heal. Or, like sticks & stones, they can also be used to injure, tear down, & aggravate. The choice is up to each of us.
(For further commentary on the power of words visit, Quarrel)
How do you use your words?
With understanding and love; or, as
‘sticks and stones'?
Sticks & Stones
page updated 04/02/2011.