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?