Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
How often have we heard that saying or said it ourselves?
But words do hurt us, they leave scars and wounds we can’t see with our eyes, but we feel them just the same. Words have an incredible power, both to hurt and to heal.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that ,“The tongue has the power of life and death …” This means that words can either encourage us or destroy us.
We’ve all had times when we have felt crushed by the words of another person. And probably have seen the damage our own unkind words have done to those around us. We can allow the heat of the moment or frustration to cause us to speak without counting the cost of our words. And words spoken in haste cannot be taken back. The hurt has been caused, the damage has been done and the relationship severed.
But words also have the power to heal: “I’m sorry; I was wrong, and please forgive me.”
Restoration can happen at that point.
I’m not trying to simplify or negate damage that has been done to us or by us, but I am trying to remind us that healing can happen. We need to be careful to speak words that will bring life, words of peace, encouragement and love and to be quick to say sorry when our words have caused pain to another. We live in a world filled with damaged people who have been hurt by the words of others.
Our children are our greatest treasure. The words we speak to them help to mold their character and personality. We need to think carefully before we speak. We show our children their worth by what we say to them. We also teach them the value of others by how we speak of them.
We want our children to be kind, loving, caring individuals and our words help them to become the kind of people that others enjoy being around.
Feb. 23rd is Pink Shirt Day, a day to focus on putting a stop to bullying. Bullying happens when people use their fists or their words to hurt another person because they are perceived as being weaker or different from ourselves.
Take a stand, in your home and wherever you may be that the words that you speak will bring life and healing to those around you.
Colleen Shearing is co-senior Pastor at High Way Church.