Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sticks and Stones by Marilyn Nutter

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” the children chanted on the playground. 

I doubt that they really believed their words. I still remember being called chubby as a little girl. It hurt. I recall my face turning beet red when a comment was made about not having the stylish school shoes that the other girls had. Words are powerful. They hurt and sting. They might even leave a permanent mark.

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” 

Most likely, the first thing we think of as unwholesome is profanity. But other forms of communication such as anger, criticism, gossip and negativity are in that category too. Paul says our communication should benefit others. If it’s unkind or unnecessary, don’t say it. Scripture reminds us that, our communication should be distinctively different. Words matter. 

Think back to a teacher, employer, friend or parent who said something positive and encouraging to you. Didn’t your spirit soar? 

If we search our memories, we also remember harsh or negative words - unnecessary words- that disturbed us and brought us to tears. We may live with those words for a lifetime. Paul says: be different; now that you have a new heart in Christ, let your communication reflect your heart--build each other up; don’t tear down.

What about you? Does your communication follow Paul’s guidelines? Is there an area that you need to change? Who knows? In building up, someone may benefit for a lifetime as they replay your words in their memory.

Read about Marilyn's ministry and books on the Lead Writers' Page.

And check out our latest book review: Kisses for Kate, reviewed by Erin Dorr

1 comment:

  1. And, people think bullying is a new social problem. Sometimes our words are more hurtful than a physical blow with longer lasting effects. James 3 tells us just how powerful our tongues are, whether to encourage or dishearten.


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