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Sticks and Stone Will Break My Bones……

But Words Will Never Hurt Me…

Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me… How true is this?  The girl on the bus who tells the new girl, “Wow! You have a big nose.” and everyone starts to giggle, or the boy who yells out loud, “Look!  He just peed his pants!” when it was only that he fell in the snow. Those words can be hurtful, so much so that we record those over and over in our minds for years and sometimes, revolving our worlds around avoiding that same circumstance. My sister was the little girl who was told she had a big nose when she was in grade school. Being twins, I never had any such thought I studied our noses and concluded that we in facts do not have big noses, but my sister grew up focused on it. She avoided accentuating her nose, and even apologized to people for her “big nose”.  That one sentence, filled with words, and not a punch in the gut, had the same physical effect through mental duress. So, as the saying goes, it’s not true, it’s a downright falsehood, and while we do decide how we want to respond, and we certainly choose how we want to continue thinking, those words may haunt us for a very long time. They can damage our fragile egos. Like a nail pounded into wood, you can remove the nail but the effects of which can then be seen forever in the structure of that wood. And, it doesn’t stop there.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Hurt people, hurt people?” Well, words are so powerful that when we feel hurt, we then can, intentionally or unintentionally, hurt others with our words as a defense, to build ourselves up and stay angry and avoid feeling it. So, this simple saying, as you can see, carries no truth whatsoever. There is a saying in the Bible that I think is fitting to remember….. Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, except for that which is helpful, for building others up….” May we consider the consequences of saying anything and everything without careful thought, and may we find comfort from our word-wounds when they rattle our brains in the middle of the night and whisper to us when we are at our most vulnerable moments by considering that hurt people hurt people to avoid the same feelings. As we give grace to others, let us give grace to ourselves and let not those words define us for we have been carefully and wonderfully created by a loving God.


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