Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Powerful than Sticks and Stones

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of our words. Not so much in the words we choose to include in our books and articles. Those are definitely important, but that post is for another day.

The power I'm talking about is that which we have over words we use to encourage and discourage people. To lift them up or tear them down. To inflate or deflate. To criticize or motivate.

I've had plenty of people in my life who have used their words against me. Sometimes those words have been mean or harsh. Sometimes their words of love or affection that I longed to hear were simply withheld. Either way, I was negatively affected.

Yes, I have the ability (and have been commanded) to forgive. But forgiveness does not mean we can just forget about those words and pretend they were never said. There is a reason the Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Because our words affect people and we are affected by others' words. Who in the world ever came up the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"? That has to be the most ridiculous line ever, made up by someone who didn't have either a heart or a brain.

What an awesome responsibility we have as Christians to steer our tongues in the right direction and speak words that bring life and healing. I'm probably overly sensitive, but personally, the thought of hurting someone with my words brings me to tears. Probably because I've been hurt so many times myself and I know what it does to the heart. And I can also imagine how it grieves the Holy Spirit when we use our beautiful instrument of praise to knock down and destroy someone instead.

Here's my question for you. I'll keep it writing related and positive:

Who in your life has spoken words of encouragement and motivation to you in your writing journey? And how have you encouraged others?


JenS said...

Thanks for the great reminder. I definitely need to be careful with my words, especially around those I love most. I have way to many, "oops! Why did I say that," moments. And seeing pain in someone else's face when careless words fly out my mouth is a reminder I want to avoid. I'd prefer to heed your reminder and avoid the latter. :)

Diane said...

I have friends that encourage me and hopefully I lift them up right back.... :O)

Pat said...

I don't know what I would do without my encouraging writer friends -- and family!

And you're so right about the power our words hold!

Thank you for reminding us of this -- ans may I use it wisely today.

Hugs ...

Susan said...

Oh my goodness, that's a great question, Lynda. I have four sisters. One of them constantly encouraged me to get back to writing. When I finally started my blog, in October of 2009, she was one of my first Followers and staunch cheerleaders.

Of course, other bloggers have also been among those who have cheered me on.

I try to return encouragment, especially to someone who seems unsure of him or herself.

Hope you have a great day today. And keep writing! Sincerely, Susan

Random Ramblings of said...

Lynda - you are one of the two women who have encouraged and nudged me in my writings. You are so good at encouraging. The other woman is Cheryl Moeller - her and her husband Bob have some books published by Harvest House. And, now - I am a contributing blogger on because of your encouragement - who would have thunk!?!?!?

Renee Schab said...

Lynn your writing just gets better and better!
I am going to print this one for Ryan and Karalyn to read...good lesson in it!

Lynda Schab said...

Thank you, Renee! And Diane (RandomRamblings)...congrats on the new blogging position! That's awesome!

Terri Tiffany said...

Very good post. My husband always tells me kind encouraging words about my writing as does my daughter. CPs too and that helps.
I try to do the same to all the writers around me:)

Nishant said...

ou're so right about the power our words hold!
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