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Sticks and Stones

By Christ Rathbone

Mitchell Countychris rathbone mitchell county

As a child growing up, I’m sure many of you have heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” Whenever someone would say something mean, call us a name, or poke fun about something, we would repeat this saying to make sure they knew their words didn’t matter to us. The truth is for the most part it was just a cover-up. Those words did hurt. Not in a physical way, but emotionally and mentally, the harsh and mean things others would say to us really hurt and hurt bad. We would never let it show in public but often when no one was around to hear or see, many tears were shed over words that were spoken to us or about us. Proverbs 18:21 states: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Every single day you and I have a choice on the words we speak to or about others.”

All the words we speak have a motive behind them. We are either speaking to build up or tear down. We are either speaking life into others or speaking death. Paul wrote, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying (building up), that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29. The truth is, that some folks take pleasure in using their words to harm others.

Most of us, at one time or another, have said words with the motive of tearing someone else down. We need to ask ourselves a serious question. Where do these words come from? Why do we sometimes say things that we know aren’t pleasing to our Savior? Well, Jesus gave a clear answer: they come from our hearts! “Oh, generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37 The words that we speak come from what is in our heart. James said in James chapter 3 “that we can put bits in a horses mouth to control it, we can use the helm of a ship to turn it in the direction we chose, we can tame beasts, birds, serpents, and things of the sea, but the tongue can not man tame!” Read James 3:1-12

The point is this, words do hurt. They hurt because we sometimes speak from what we have allowed to build up in our hearts. We can harm someone deeply by speaking one sentence out of spite or anger. Our testimony for Jesus can be tarnished by words spoken in the heat of the moment. Relationships can be forever changed when we shout words to tear down someone else to make ourselves look better or justify something we have done. Let us all think before we speak. Ask yourself what is the motive behind the words I’m about to say. Am I speaking the life of Jesus to those I’m speaking to or speaking about? Are the words coming from my heart words that will edify and build up others or am I intentionally seeking to tear others down?

Most importantly, do the words I speak reflect and glorify my Savior Jesus? Sticks and stones may break our bones and words CAN ALWAYS hurt us! In Christ, Preacher Chris


Preacher Chris Rathbone is the former Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church and is now serving the Lord as needed while preaching the Gospel. You can read more Good Christian News from Pastor Chris HERE.

You can connect with Preacher Chris on Facebook HERE.