Sticks and Stones…
We’ve all heard it: “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”. I have just one word for that phrase….NO! That phrase is catchy but it couldn’t be more wrong. Most of us have never had bones broken with sticks or stones but we’ve all had things “broken” by words. Words tend to hurt far more than sticks and stones. In the next section of Proverbs chapter 12, we see some of the damage done by words:
He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. 21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil. 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
We read that lying brings deceit and is called an abomination to the Lord. I memorized verse 22 a long time ago and it has stuck with me! We see that there is one who speaks like the piercing of a sword. Still don’t believe that words can be dangerous? Being pierced by a sword sounds even worse than being beaten with sticks and stones. We read in verse 19 that deception leads to brevity…a lying tongue will not be established.
Plus, this collection of proverbs also reveals the benefits of right words. Right words promote health. Truth is established forever. It has longevity. Those who deal truthfully are a delight to the Lord. So, let’s not kid ourselves that hurtful and deceitful words do not cause damage. Also, let’s know that the words of the righteous really do have incredible benefit. Today let’s use our words to bring joy to someone, not harm….and don’t hit anyone with sticks or stones either 🙂