“Sticks and stones may break my bones….but words will never hurt me.” Oh how untrue that phrase is. Words do hurt!! In fact, words sometimes are so painful it is hard to come back from them.
As a young girl, I was the child that was teased…and probably in some senses of the word, bullied. I was called many different names “Cry baby” “OJ Spiller” and the list goes on and on. Even as the tears fell from my face, many of them still continued to call me some pretty mean names. It took me a long time to get past those ugly words that were hurled at me as a child. I will admit that a few of those individuals have come to me and apologized…but not everyone has!
Over time and after giving up those moments and hurting words to my God, I have found myself moving on. But I will admit that I am one of those individuals who tries very carefully to say what I want to say and to say it in a positive light. Yes, I admit that sometimes I get angry and have raised my voice…just ask my Confirmation class…but after a few minutes, I find myself reflecting and trying very hard to cast good light…good words.
In this social media age, I think what we say matters more than it ever has before! Social media has a way for us to think we can say anything we want. But the truth is that we CANNOT! We still have to be careful of what we say. There are thousands, no millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Someone is likely to read our words and be hurt by them even if that was NOT our intention at all!
And today I was reminded of how easily and quickly someone can be hurt! A friend was hurt by someone else’s words and actions today on a group thread. My heart is breaking for her!! And I am angry with and for her! Our words do matter!!!
God wants us to lift each other up with tenderheartedness and kind words. God wants us to lift each other up rather than knock each other down. I pray that we can be more careful with our words and treat each other with kindness and respect. The world would be a much kinder and gentler place if we truly realized the power of our words and used them for good rather than evil.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”–Ephesians 4:32
“Let us love not with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”–1 John 3:18
I was just thinking about this the other day, Tara! I've come to the conclusion that there's a tie in with our love languages and the power of words to hurt us. For someone whose love language is words of affirmation, unkind words have quadruple the power to hurt and wound. And, since we don't all run around with our love languages posted on our foreheads, we ought to be very careful with our words!
Amen! It hurts my hurt so to see my dear friend hurt by someone else's words on a thread.
Oh, words DO matter; and I am trying so hard to watch what I say, especially to my husband…yes, he forgets what was said; maybe within 5 minutes…but, I don't! I don't forget that I lashed out and said what I said; that I intended those words to hurt…yes, I said "I INTENDED THOSE WORDS TO HURT." Because, I hurt and I want HIM to hurt…
and I KNOW how WRONG I am for that…I have apologized to him numberous times, and he doesn't even realize I had intended to hurt him. He is so forgiving…and I thank God I have him even though some days I don't feel thankful…
OK – confession over!
Thanks for sharing, Tara…so true! Words DO matter! And I appreciate yours.
I think we all have been guilty of saying hurtful things to those we love because they have hurt us. And by the way, this is totally a safe place to confess. Thank you for appreciating my words friend!
Words do matter. I was watching sesame street with my son recently and one of the characters was learning about how much words can hurt when she hurt elmo's feelings. I think adults sometimes forget the power of words too.
I think us adults definitely forget the power of words sometimes!