A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.
This is an old American nursery rhyme that many of us are familiar with. These words, which according to Gary Martin appeared in the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 1862 publication The Christian Recorder, were designed to persuade children that were the victims of name-calling and teasing to ignore the taunts and to refrain from physical retaliation.
While the idea of not reacting to verbal insults with physical force is a good one, the idea that words cannot hurt has been found to be false. Although words seem to not be able to harm us physically, we know that taunting words can cause tremendous emotional damage. These emotional scars take much longer to heal and often times lead to physical consequences such as stress related disorders. Some people has been so hurt by words that they take it out on themselves physically, causing self-inflicted wounds and even death.
While the words said by others can be devastating, it does not compare to the words that we say ourselves. It is this idea that is reflected in Solomon’s wisdom for today. The words of our mouths will produce fruit in our lives. We are constantly reminded of this throughout the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus takes it to a whole new level as He warns us that we will be held accountable for every idle word we speak. Our words matter.
What are you talking about today? Are you speaking life into your situation? Are you proclaiming God’s Word of victory over your life? Or are you complaining, blaming others and speaking doom over your situation? Whatever it is that you are saying, you will reap the harvest of those words.
Lord, help me guard the words that I speak. Show me how to speak Your words over my life. I commit my conversations to You. Allow me to glorify You in all that I do and say. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.