“Sharp arrows of the warrior,
With coals of the broom tree!”
I grew up hearing “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I am quite certain that those who shared that sentiment with me were trying to help, but I also learned at a rather young age that it simply wasn’t true. Wounds caused by sticks and stones tend to mend both quickly and completely leaving little if any scars. The wounds caused by unkind, abusive or slanderous words have a tendency to linger and sometimes affect us for a lifetime. When it comes to the sharp arrows of the tongue there are a few things we need to keep in mind.
First off, it is important to remember that our words will have an impact on others. If we speak kind, uplifting and challenging words we will find our relationships enhanced and see others develop into healthy individuals. If we speak harsh, bitter, angry and demeaning words we will find that the spirit of others is drastically and negatively impacted. This is particularly true in marriage and child rearing. The words we speak can be like arrows that destroy the lives we are seeking to help.
Secondly, if you have been negatively shaped by the harsh words of others it is important to remember that there is grace for that. You may carry insecurities because growing up you heard things that caused you to think you would never measure up. As real as those insecurities and their impact upon you actions might be we can take comfort in knowing that God is always able to provide what is lacking. Instead of being crippled by them we can look to the one who will provide the Spirit of Christ Jesus and find that we are more than able to succeed even with all our shortcomings.