Sticks and Stones- Part One.
Sticks and Stone may break my bones… but words will never hurt me. What a LIE! A dirty filthy lie, words do hurt. Recently I listened to a sermon and it emphasized that words can kill you!
The pastor is correct. Words can harm and hurt those around us and sometimes we don’t even realize the things we say. The things that we say are important, they matter; the things that come out of our mouths should be representations of who we are and of who God is. There is nothing worse than saying I’m a Christian or saying I believe and follow Jesus and then you hear me shoot profanities constantly out of my mouth on a daily basis. We are hold to a standard as it says in James 3: 1-7.
“1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.”
I think back to growing up and of times when I was called fat or ugly or when I was asked, “are you really wearing that?” I cannot even begin to tell you the riff that it caused between me and family members as I was constantly judged or criticized. I wonder the depth of relationships that could have happen with simple things like “you’re beautiful” or “we’re proud of you!” or even a “good job”. The words that were said cut deep and lasted with me for years, even though I would attempt to laugh them off. They caused me to see an image that God did not see. We should begin to love and see beauty in the way that God does.
The evil memories of those words will last with me forever. The implications of words are powerful.
“8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.” –James 3:8-10
The pastor mentioned how we are born with two ears for a reason, to listen twice as much as we talk. We need to act like a Christian and have the mouth of a Christian. We need to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. Are we living in contradiction? Can we keep our focus on Jesus and allow Him to saturate our everyday talk and walk?
When we lash out against someone with our tongues, it not only emotional can hurt or scar the person whether it is behind their back or to their face, but it damages us. That bitterness we hold onto, anger, resentment, fear can kill us from the inside and can cause us to hurt those around us intentionally and unintentionally with our words and actions. Hurting people, hurt people. Think of Columbine, Norway, or even friendships even over facebook comments of hurtful things said. Gossip stings. Think of racial slurs that are meant to be funny and in turn can hurt someone deeply or cause them to regret who they are.
Our hearts need to be in the right place and swimming in the love of Jesus. We need to fix our hurting and stop hurting those around us. Jesus is trying to teach and show us how to be. Let us begin today by saying something gratifying