Thursday JuLy 28, 2011
When I was growing up we had a saying that goes like this, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I said this and heard my friends say it, and I have heard others say it in today’s culture. It was usually said after someone had said a particularly demeanng or disrespectful statement. No matter what you say to me, you can’t hurt me with words. It would be nice to be tough enough to hear harsh words and not let those words negatively affect our emotions or our heart. It would be nice to have a hard shell and not let those words penetrate the shell. Unfortunately, those words do penetrate the outer shell of our lives and harsh words do hurt, no matter how we try to deflect the words and act as if they don’t hurt. It is especially true for those who are close to us. In fact, the closer a person is to our lives, the more harsh words hurt and penetrate to the very recesses of our lives.
Solomon was aware of this truth when he said, “The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream. (Proverbs 18:4 NIV) Our words are like deep waters in that when they are verbalized they go down deep in to the recesses of the heart and soul of the person they are directed to. Deep waters usually have no movement. Deep waters cause things to get sucked down deeper and deeper. Harsh words are therefore remembered for years and years. Harsh words have difficulty being forgiven because of the nature of where those words go in a person’s life. It means that we need to be careful what we say to those we love when we are aware of what the words of our mouth can do.
On the other hand, it says that wisdom is like a fountain of a rushing stream. Words of wisdom and encouragement are like a mountain stream that cleanses and brings oxygen and nourishment to those it touches. We have a choice every time we open our mouth to bring words of wisdom to those we love, or use harsh and disrespectful words that sink deep into the soul and stay there for long periods of time.
Today on this journey, choose your words carefully to those who are on the journey with you so as to bring life and nourishment to their souls.