February 09, 2012

Sticks and Stones - Shirley S. Tye

School work is forcing me to think more deeply on various subjects. Foremost in my mind at present is the power of words as I write a paper.

As a child, I remember chanting with classmates, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." Did I believe it then? Yes, but only because I thought the others believed. And now, do I still believe it? No. I've felt the sting of hurting words. I've been crushed by negative words. I've had my dreams swiftly destroyed with mighty words of apparent wisdom.

As I examine the Bible, I see the power of God's words. He spoke the universe into existence from nothing. Jesus healed many people of various diseases and raised the dead by simply speaking a command; be thou clean; stretch forth your hand; rise and walk. Even the demons scattered when Jesus spoke just one little word; go! In fact, John 1:1 describes Jesus as The Word; from the Greek word logos meaning word, divine expression.

And then there are Satan's words that carry the stench of death. Whether he speaks them verbally or tickles one's conscience or mind with luring whispers, destruction follows.

The Bible holds many verses that depict the results of words. Psalm 55:21 describes an enemy's words as smoother than butter, softer than oil but war rages in his heart. But pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:24). James 3:8 warns us that no one can tame the tongue; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). In Matthew 12:37 Jesus' warning is recorded; "By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Oh, I pray that my words whether spoken or written will always be sweet to the soul and healing to the bones; words to edify; to build up; to encourage.


  1. Well said, Shirley! This is an especially good reminder for online words--which have a very long shelf-life.

  2. A timely reminder of the pen's superiority over the sword.

    Better: the keyboard is greater than the gun!

    As writers, we have an awesome responsibility.

    Thanks for the reminder.


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