Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can pierce my soul. Words shape self images, alter perceptions, dictate destinies. Words can discourage or encourage, tear down or build up, imprison or liberate.
Words are more powerful than weapons of mass destruction because the decision to use the weapon generally started with words – words of hatred, words that marginalized, words that dehumanize, words that dismissed.
Our parents got it wrong. Words can hurt us the most.
I have always viewed the scripture, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” as a license to “name it and claim it”. While part of that is true, I’m finding it has far greater ramifications.
Our words build barriers, divides us, alienates us, polarize us. That is death.
But our words could also build bridges, unite us, create a sense of belonging, celebrate our differences. That is life.
God gives us a choice and then tells us the right answer. “I have set before you today life and death. Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).“
Heed God’s advice today. Choose life affirming words today. Use your words to encourage, build up, build bridges, and celebrate others. But not only that, let us not defend or dismiss words from our leaders that divide, alienate, discriminate or vilify others. Choose life. Defend life. Promote life.
“Sharing words of wisdom is satisfying to your inner being. It encourages you to know that you’ve changed someone else’s life. Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life.”
Proverbs 18:20-21 TPT