Sticks and stones
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me!
Growing up, I heard that phrase several times when I was upset about something unkind that someone had said to me. Sadly that is not true. Words have such power – power to build up, power to tear down.
Thoughts from the Bible
Recently in my Bible study I was impressed with how many times God’s Word speaks to us about the power of words and warns us of being careful how we speak.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25;11
Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2
Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart. Proverbs 18:8
Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time. Proverbs 15:23
Thoughts from the famous and not-so-famous
After reading the thoughts I found in the Bible on using our words, I began searching for what others have said about the power of words.
I found some very wise advice from famous and not-so-famous people.
If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.
A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Advice I wish I had followed
Looking back over my life, I realize that I have spoken many times when I should have remained silent, have given my opinion when no one really needed or wanted it and sadly, have hurt those I love. Oh, that I had followed this advice:
Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19
Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken. Orson Rega Card
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Winston Churchill
A time to speak
But there are times we need to speak and unfortunately, we remain silent.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King, Jr.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke
This verse from the Bible really makes me think about my words
Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words you shall be justified and by your words you shall be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37
My prayer about my words
This is now my prayer”
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.