Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.
Ever heard that expression? I don’t know who wrote it, but he never went to elementary school!
You and I both know how moronic that statement really is. Words can do enormous damage and, at times, destroy a life. In my nearly six decades as a pastor, a high percentage of my counselling sessions have dealt with an adult trying to overcome the painful words of others in their past. Words can sting and cripple or words can lift and heal.
Read closely some examples from the Apostle Paul: Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29).
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of everyopportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you willhave the right response (Colossians 4:5–6).
If you rewound the tape on your conversations in your home or at church or at the workplace where you interact closely with others, would you hear words that hurt or words that encourage? Take a moment today to ask the Lord to transform your words into instruments of grace and encouragement. Everyone around you will be so glad you did.
Jesus shows us the way:
Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone ... Everyone spoke well of him [Jesus] and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips (Luke 4:14–15, 22).
May that be said of me ... and thee.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord ... Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright ©2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.