I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
But of course, it’s a lie. A more accurate rendition might go something like this: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may forever hurt me.”
We’ve been talking about the power of words—for good or bad.
Yesterday I highlighted a few examples about how, according to the Bible, we SHOULD use words.
Today, let me highlight a few examples about how we SHOULDN’T use our words.
–Misuse God’s name (Exodus 20:7)
–Speak falsely about others (Exodus 20:16)
–Curse others (Romans 12:14)
–Speak harshly, stirring up anger (Proverbs 15:1)
–Slander or gossip (2 Corinthians 12:20)
–Lie (Proverbs 12:22)
Is there one on that list which jumps out at you as something you know you need to work on?
The reason I think it’s helpful to provide specific examples from the Bible is because it’s one thing to say, in theory, that we agree with the principle of using words wisely; it’s another to put that principle into practice. We are more likely to be successful if we can identify the kinds of speech patterns that are godly, and those that are not, so that we can act accordingly.
Proverbs 12:18 says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Your tongue can be a sword for cutting or a source of healing.
By Matthew Ruttan
–“Washing your mouth out with hope” is my latest teaching. It’s Part 5 in the Down-To-Earth series and you can watch it on YouTube here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.