Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
If you don’t know, this is an old English nursery rhyme reminding a victim of bullying to ignore the taunts and refrain from physical retaliation.
Growing up, I heard this a lot and recently thought about it some more. It is true that words won’t be able to physically hurt me like sticks and stones do, but does the emotional hurt that it causes do more harm than sticks and stones?
It’s normal for couples, friends, family members, or anyone in any sort of relationship to have disagreements and argue every now and then. The cause could be an unpleasant action, or possible unkind words. Even if the words were not ill-intentioned, words carry a lot of meaning and I think it can hurt more than any physical object.
I have a problem. When I’m around close family and friends, I don’t think before I speak. Not that I should censor everything I say and be meticulous about it, but there are certain things that may sound funny in my head but it is the opposite in real life. Unfortunately, I think my husband takes the brunt of this, especially after my long tiring days at work. I know that I have to be more aware of what I am saying because I accidentally called him a name that he did not appreciate the other night. I never meant for it to be harmful and hurtful, I actually meant for it to be a joke, but it came out like an insult. It was my mistake and after reflecting on it, I realized I need to be much more careful about the words I choose to say.
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
I want my words to be encouraging, loving, and edifying. I’ve been saved by grace through faith and as per Ephesians 4:17-32, I have been renewed and given new life! It’s not that I must, but that I want to put away my old ways of speaking whatever pops into my head, and to be more careful and choice with my words. It’s not to censor myself, but it’s to help me make sure I’m saying and communicating what I’m actually intending.
How does this verse speak to you?