As many of us have heard and even quoted the old rhyme, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’ We seem to stick to the first bit but never go onto the latter. How totally fake is that? Have wrong? What a lie we are instilling into our children? What a load of rubbish? It is true that sticks and stones will break our bones, how many people do you know that have fallen out of a tree, stubbed their toe on a rock, fallen and scratched their knee? Sticks and stones do break our bones and that is part of everyday life. From being very young children we have realised that this is what happens and we need to keep going whatever happens. We have been raised that no matter what we go through, the emotions we go through, the people we fall out with, the jobs we don’t cope with will get better but for the meantime it may hurt and it may be hard to keep on going.
We also have been taught from a very young age that people should not affect us, their words should not hurt us, their actions should not bother us but they do. We can be hurt by words and it is okay for it to happen. We can be hurt by what people think of us and what people say about us and that is okay, we can be hurt by it but it is how we deal with it which is important. It can be painful to other people when we talk before we think and we never know how much words can harm and hurt someone. The pain caused by angry words can hurt people more than you will know, it can hurt someone, it can destroy someone, it can harm someone. It is very easy to say sorry to someone but we can’t take back the words that we have said.
I am very bad at saying something and then almost instantly regretting what I have said. I am very quick to speak my mind and most of the time I don’t think about whether it is harming someone. I know I should be more considerate and more willing to stop my mouth before I talk. Someone once told me, ‘you can say what you want but ride a fast horse’ and that is so true. You can say what you want and when you want to who you want but you have to make sure that you ride out the situation fast. However, instead of riding a fast horse maybe we need to think before we speak. I know that is easier said than done but we need to make sure that we really do think before we speak and it is important. Our words can harm other people and we need to think about them more than ourselves.
Sometimes it is best to be silent and to think about the words that we think about. We need to know that words can harm and it can be hurtful. Everyone has got angry and has got into a row and said things that they regret but it is important to make those right once we feel that we have said something wrong. We have hurt other people in our lives and other people have hurt us and it is important to think about that. Sometimes things do need to be said but maybe instead of being rude and critical it could be uplifting and challenging. Instead of making someone hurtful we need to be positive and give challenging feedback rather than harming someone with our words. As we tell children we need to use kind words and build others up rather than being mean and hurtful to other people.
Whenever we say the wrong thing to someone it is important that we go back and apologise to the person we have hurt and ask for their forgiveness and wanting to move on with both of our lives. We need to make sure that we talk to them and want them to feel good about themselves rather than battering them down and not letting them feel good about themselves. When we have made mistakes it is important to ask God for His forgiveness. Not everyone will forgive us but if we come and say sorry to Christ then He will forgive us. We need to be humble and willing to change and God will help us to do so.