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Church News

September 7, 2012

Food for Heart, Sept. 7, 2012

"O taste and see that the Lord is good." -- Psalms 34:8

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Really? That’s not what it felt like at the time when I was a young girl being called some name or made fun of by other kids. And that’s not what it feels like some fifty years later just thinking back about it.

Do you remember? Our parents would find us crying or upset about something someone had said to us, and in an effort to make us feel better about the whole incident would recite this little ditty to us. And then in an attempt to reinforce their damage control efforts they would add these final words on the subject … “just ignore them. Don’t pay any attention to them. You know it’s not true.”

Did that make everything all better for you? It didn’t me either. As a matter of fact, although spoken with the best of intentions, ‘words can never hurt you’ couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact it’s for certain sticks and stones can cause some serious hurt, but the pain they cause fades with time and the body heals. Words however uttered even one time in anger or with malice contain the potential to continue to cause pain long after they were initially spoken.

The Word tells us in James 3:6, “ And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defieth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” In this scripture James says that of all the members of our bodies the tongue has the potential to cause the most damage … to us and to others. He also compares the damage the uncontrolled tongue can do to that of a raging fire the source of whose wickedness is hell itself. (Read James chapter 3 in its entirety to study more about the damage the tongue can do, and the importance of controlling it.)

Think about it for a moment. Satan used the weapon of words against man in the Garden of Eden … against Jesus in the wilderness and again in the Garden of Gethsemane … and he’s been using it to his advantage every chance we give him, every since that first time. Every time we lash out at others with hateful, thoughtless, or bitter words as a weapon intended to cause hurt, they accomplish their purpose, but more than that, unlike a stick or a stone … once spoke, words can never be retrieved or taken back.

Words can be most damaging because the destruction they cause is immediate and cannot be reversed. In the event we get the opportunity to apologize, and in the case that our apology is accepted, we may be forgiven but the words we spoke in anger will not be forgotten. In some instances relationships that took years to develop can be destroyed in a few minutes.

Peter advises us in 1 Peter 3:9 a better way to handle ourselves, “ Not repaying evil for evil, or insult for insult, but on the contrary blessing: knowing that you are there unto called that ye should inherit a blessing.” In other words, should you find yourself pitted against someone who is angrily and viciously hurling hurtful words at you … REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE. Participation in this kind of behavior will change absolutely nothing, and the Word tells us will even block our blessings from God. Plus acting like the devil only produces hell in our lives. Pray … rise above … don’t sink to their level … take the higher road … walk away. Give NO ONE this kind of power over you. If all else fails remember our parents advise, and simply ignore them … you know the TRUTH!

 Remember my friend, before you speak, words are like fire … you can neither control nor reverse the damage they may cause.

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