There is a small children’s nursery rhyme most of us learned growing up – usually in response to some bully calling us names. It first appeared approximately 1844. There are many variations but the basic is:
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names (or words) will never harm me.
You know what? Neurologists state that words do harm us. Words can take root in our brains and color the way we see and react to others*.
And there have been enough studies to prove that what we hear most of our lives really affects who we become – unless we can overcome that with God! I can’t recall where I read it but a study of people in prison stated that the majority of them had heard nothing but bad words growing up. Words like, “You’ll never amount to anything” or “You’re a bum just like your father and mark my words, you’ll be in prison before you’re 18” or “You’re a bad boy” and on and on.
The Bible is our go-to handbook of how to live our lives. It should be the only reference for choice we make in life. The Bible states:
A good translation of Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings (ERV).”
Romans 4:17 states that God “…calls into existence the things that do not exist (ESV).” The Bible is clear that we can, too, and that our words are also life and death to us.
Notice that both of those scriptures just state what the fact is – words you speak have power. Also notice that neither mentions if they are good words or bad words. This means both work.
You can speak bad results into your life or good results into your life. You can speak into existence bad results or you can speak into existence good results.
So if what we speak is THAT important that it is life and death to us, and will bring into existence things that don’t exist yet – hadn’t we better watch what we’re saying? Easy answer – YES. Speak ONLY what God says about a situation.