Words Hurt.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.  And those who love it will eat its fruit.
– Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

We’ve been led to believe that words “cannot” hurt us.  And I think that is a horrible mistake.  Words have power.  Words carry meaning.  Words empower, encourage, heal, help, and move us….but we’re to believe that they can’t hurt us?  So verbal abuse isn’t real? Negative self-talk isn’t real?

The sooner we teach our children that yes, words DO hurt, then maybe…just MAYBE they will be more aware of what comes out of their mouths.  Maybe.  Also, maybe even adults can address their hurt instead of feeling “weak” or whatever for “letting” words affect them.

Now.  Do words “make” people do things?  No.  But.  I am sure we can all agree that words have driven us to react in a way that were emotional and perhaps even irrational.  Why?  Because words hurt.

To suggest that they don’t is to go directly against what we’re taught about the power of the tongue.  To suggest that they don’t is to suggest there is no negative power in words.  Words have literally started wars.  Words have broken up friendships and households.  Don’t you dare let anybody tell you that your words don’t, let alone CAN’T, hurt.  That’s a lie.

Instead of using the “words will never hurt me” lie to excuse being vile and hateful (or as some people like to disguise it, being “real”), maybe we should work more on taking care over the words we use.  Maybe we should stop making excuses to not have to be accountable for how we talk to people.  Am I suggesting that you lie? No.  Am I suggesting that you sugarcoat? Absolutely not.  Understand that, at times, no matter how tactful you may be your words of truth and authenticity may hurt someone.  That’s not something we can always control.  But there is no reason to use hateful and hurtful language, when you KNOW it hurts/offends.  No reason.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
– Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)

This is my signature on my personal email account. I know for a fact that I have used my words to hurt.  Maybe because I was hurt, angry, or whatever.  Maybe because I was trying to make a point and decided to let my filter disappear.  No matter the reason, I know that my words have been a source of hurt in the past.  To others as well as myself!  My prayer is that I use my words to give life, to encourage, and to uplift.  Do I meet that standard everyday? Not at all.  But I would hope that I never make it a habit to purposely tear people down with my words.

How are you using your words?  Do you even care?


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