Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
More ignorant words have never been spoken.
If you were to walk past my desk within the last couple of weeks, odds are, you would probably think that I am a sick, twisted individual. Though that might be true, it is not why there are strange pictures hanging in my creative space. I am preparing for one of the biggest events of the year at our church, “Freakshow”! It is a production that puts sin on display and exposes it for how it takes people captive and doesn’t let go. It’s a pretty scary ordeal. It’s amazing in that it shows people that they don’t have to be a prisoner any longer.
Yet, the Lord spoke to me last week about something that is far more frightening than anything Freakshow has to offer. I had something crazy happen to me that completely threw me off. I realized that I was wrong. Me? Wrong? Those two words simply shouldn’t go together. However, as hard as that might be to accept, it’s the truth. It had to do with something that I said.
That night, I had a dream. If you know me, that statement alone should make you think to yourself, “Oh Lord, here we go again.” The dream consisted of me holding a small snake in my hands (Yeah, like that would ever happen) and the snake was repeatedly biting me on the lips. However, I wasn’t feeling pain or even noticing that this was happening. I finally had someone tell me what was happening. I immediately put the snake down and ran to look at my face in the mirror. I quickly realized that my entire mouth was bleeding and I had deep teeth marks dented into my lip. Then it began to hurt…
I felt like God was trying to speak to me through this dream but couldn’t understand in the moment. I’m a bit into dream interpretation, so I knew that snake bites mean a warning or wake up call about something. I took it to mean that even though the words we say in the moment and think that they are not hurting someone, in the long run, if we continue to carelessly use our words, they will certainly make a lasting impact.
And it will begin to hurt…
I recently read about a highly recognized figure in the church world that just said something completely crazy! Long story short, this man and tons of his staff might lose their job, a large number of the congregation is leaving, and people who really looked up to this person have lost all respect for this individual. All of this is due to something this person said. I mean, in their head, they must have assumed that nothing could go wrong with simply saying what was on their heart. But, the scary part about words, is that they hurt. More than that, I’m going to cry for twenty minutes because you told me you didn’t like my shirt hurt, but genuinely hurt. Their life, their salvation could be resting on what you say.
There are people in your life, that are counting on you. They are watching everything you do, every move you make, and everything you say.
Knowing that words have this much of an effect in a negative way, what would happen if we were to focus on making our words meaningful? How could we change our lives, someone else’s, or even the world? Words should be used to communicate…Well, duh!
Scripture tells us that everything that has breath, praise the Lord. You know what else you need breath to do? Talk! God wants us to glorify Him in all that we do. So, why do we make talk so cheap? Words have far more weight about them than what we give them credit for.
Listen to yourself. Your words are so much more than you realize.