One of the commonly used sayings that I remember as a kid was the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I am fairly certain we have all heard this expression at some time or other in our lives. This was a saying a kid would use as a comeback to an insult or derogatory words that were thrown their way. It was meant to be an expression of verbal defense, trying to suggest the idea that regardless of what words the verbal attacker threw their way, they would not be hurt or disturbed by them in any way. Well the truth is, as we became mature adults, we realized the message that this saying was projecting was the farthest thing from reality and the truth. The truth is, words CAN hurt. They do have the ability to cause hurt and do substantial damage.
There is a scripture in the Bible in the book of James that talks about the tongue having the ability to do great good as well as great evil. In this passage the writer James says that people often use their tongues to worship and praise God, and also use their tongues in a hurtful way to curse others. James adds that these occurrences should not be.
Words absolutely have the ability to do great good, and they have the ability to do immense damage. I can think of many great people throughout history that have spoken words that have brought encouragement that has survived the test of time, and have remained as some of the most inspiring words ever spoken. Most notably, the words of Jesus Christ that are recorded in the Bible are the most powerful words ever spoken, and have changed more lives for the better than any words ever spoken by anyone else. There are many others that have spoken words throughout history that have encouraged, inspired, and motivated people to pursue their dreams. Great people of the past like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Ronald Reagan have given speeches with words so powerful that they literally have impacted the minds and attitudes of people with hope and inspiration throughout the ages.
Unfortunately, words also have the power to discourage, tear down, and destroy. Since the beginning of time, there have been people who have either been hurt or damaged by words that were spoken to them, or have inflicted damage on someone else because of words that they spoke. Countless relationships within families and marriages have been destroyed because of careless words that were spoken. Murders have taken place throughout the years because of a fleeting moment of anger that started with angry and poorly chosen words. It would be wonderful if after speaking words that we regret, we could reel them back in like we would a Zebco 33 fishing reel, and completely remove them the memory of the person to which they were directed. Unfortunately, this is not impossible. Once words leave our mouth, they are irretrievable, and are embedded in the mind of the person they were spoken to.
As I have said many times before, I am a huge fan of famous motivational and inspirational quotes. I have personally received encouragement and inspiration from some of the famous quotes I have read in the past. I really want to be the type of person who can encourage, motivate, and inspire others through the words that I speak and share. Sadly, I myself do not always choose my words as wisely as I should, and have spoken words in moments of distress, frustration, anger, or what have you…..that have been damaging and hurtful. I am striving to be more patient and choose my words more carefully, in hopes that I can build up, and not tear down.
I encourage everyone to think long and hard before you speak. Don’t speak words that you will end up regretting, because once they are out you can never get them back. The words that you speak can literally determine your success and happiness in life. The real estate investor and author Robert G. Allen was quoted as saying, “Words transform. Speak only with a good purpose. Say only things that serve you and others. Choose your words wisely.” I think that’s great advice. It is advice I plan to tell myself every day. I hope that you will do the same. As we change our words, we will change our lives.
Thanks for Reading,
Until Next Time,