The old childhood adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” may sound good in song, but it doesn’t necessarily work out that way in real life. Words have meaning. Words have power. They sway the nations, alter the soul, and affect eternity. There is life and death in the power of the tongue. Therefore, what we say on a day to day basis should be governed as though someone’s life depends on it. In many ways, it does.
Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Once the proverbial cat is let out of the bag, it is very difficult to put him back in.
There are things you may say to someone in this day that you will quickly forget; but those very same words may tragically spend years in that person’s heart, perhaps haunting them for life. You cannot get your words back; no matter how hard you try. Words have a way of finding permanent lodging places in the minds and hearts of those we aim them toward.
Words can help, or they can haunt. They can heal, or they can hurt. They can honor, or they can humiliate. No wonder our grandmothers and mothers instructed us in this way, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” The words you speak will never return –you can’t get them back.
Daily Reading: Judges 6-7
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