There is a popular English children’s rhyme* that was apparently first coined in 1830.
Sticks and Stone may break my bones
But words will never hurt me
There are many variations of this rhyme, all forms of telling people that words won’t hurt you like sticks and stones can.
IT IS A BIG FAT LIE – and very dangerous to believe. It’s one of the best ways I know to desensitize people to the importance of words. People believe what they say doesn’t matter when God says it does. They believe they are just words and words can’t affect our lives.
HA! Let me give you an example – may seem silly but – I once owned a 1973 4-door Mercury Monterey. My dad found it for me. It used to be a cop’s car so that sucker was in mint condition and, while large, drove like a chart.
I didn’t like the car. Why? It was huge. It was too big. People used to make fun and call it my lead sled. I was in my mid-20’s and I wanted cool. I used to say – ready? “I wouldn’t even care if it had problems, as long as it was a sports car.” NOW I know how stupid that was. Then? Not.
Fast forward and I got my cool. I sold the Monterey and bought a friend’s 1979 Chevy Camaro with T-Tops. Bumblebee yellow (except it didn’t transform). I loved that car. I did, that is, until it began having the strangest problems.
It took a year or two, but oh my gosh. I won’t go in to all the details, but problems began to show up. They were the most ridiculous problems that should have never happened (hint: the so-called miracle working mechanic everyone used? He forgot to secure the fan blade and on the way back to the office after I picked the car up? I heard the most awful noise. The blade almost came off.) There were other issues like that.
I have other stories just as freaky, based on the words of my mouth. I prophesied my own future failures. It took a few years before I really learned the lesson of watching what I say. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble (and expenses) if I’d learned that spiritual law sooner.
Proverbs 18:21 – I like the Message Translation: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Kill can mean dreams, goals, futures, or literally lives.
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A few mouth scriptures: Proverbs 11:9 – Proverbs 15:4 – Proverbs 16:24 – Psalm 19:14. There are more; you look them up