The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit. Provers 18:21
We grew up saying the little saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” You know as little children on the playground we were taught that when another child said something mean or unkind to say that phrase and move on right? But the thing is words hurt far more than sticks and stones ever will. Words can crush a person’s spirit and their will to do anything. Words can keep the dreamers from dreaming and the chosen from walking in their calling. I think to myself, how many times have I said words that have crushed the spirit of a dreamer? When have I spoken without looking at the after effect of what I said? I also thought back to various things people have said to me over the years.
One incident stands out in my mind, only because to this day it has limited me so much. Once, while an adult I was told by my pastor that I was too smart and that my intelligence was intimidating to the other leaders. I was asked if I could tone it down a little. So that day I decided I would just play dumb, unless asked to otherwise. So here I am many years later, several pastors later, and I still find my default to be playing dumb. Not because I want to gain something from the person, but because I am still so afraid that I am going to intimidate them, or cause them to feel less than. Recently, I was reminded by God in His oh so gentle way that I did not need to play dumb, and that I should have never been told to be anything less than He created me to be.
Now I know that the way my mind works can be a bit much for people, and my personality type isn’t one to sugar coat things naturally. I am very much a person of logic and saying things how they are. Through my study of psychology, I have learned how to say things in a way that others understand and process. Some people may be shocked to know that I have been playing dumb all these years, others have seen those occasions where I just couldn’t play dumb enough to know otherwise. But this reminds me that I need to watch my words carefully, because I know that I have just as much power in my tongue to crush someone as did the person that spoke those words to me all those years ago. So I encourage you to watch your words, and decide what you want to use them for life or death. I know for me, I try with everything in me to use my words for life but I am sure that is not always the case. What about you? Have you seen how words can hurt? Have you seen how words can heal? Lets chat!