Worse than sticks or stones

I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me. ” I was never quite sure about what I thought about that statement, but now I have found that it directly contradicts the Word of God.

Proverbs 18:8 tells us, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” That’s a pretty strong statement concerning words. God says very clearly that words can produce great damage.

When someone slanders you, it can be hurtful. It can be damaging. People especially children can be damaged by hurtful words that are spoken about them. As Christians, we should never be the source of such damage. If we are the recipient of such attacks we should remember the behavior of Christ when He was the subject of ridicule and false accusation.

Isaiah 53:7 tells us how Jesus reacted to slander. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not hismouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

This prophecy was fulfilled right before Christ’s crucifixion. Mark 14 reveals that many people told lies about Jesus and twisted his words. Verse 61 tells us, “But he held his peace, and answered nothing.” Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself, did not feel the need to defend Himself. Why do we? Remember, although the words of a talebearer may be as wounds, you don’t need to defend yourself every time someone speaks evil of you. Let your conduct and your character speak for you. And yes, the words may hurt, but God has the power to heal you.

Let us not vainly struggle to fight in our defense. Let us be as Christ who decided to leave the final judgment to God. When the words of others hurt us, we can call on the Lord. And then we can say, like the Psalmist:

“O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” – Psalm 30:2

Don’t forget, though the words of a talebearer may be as wounds, God is on your side.


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