I don’t know if you were ever taught the phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” I remember coming home from school and being teased about my weight (I was a bit over weight) and even getting a few jabs from family. I was given that phrase to, in a sense, let those words bounce off me and not affect me. However, they did not, and actually that phrase is not true, words really do hurt and some are like arrows that pierce deep into our being and can shape our self-esteem and world view. Words do matter and regardless how purposeful or careless we are, words make in impact.
I find it interesting knowing the weight of words how much careless words, get thrown out. I was running some errands a few weeks ago and I walked by someone on their phone. They were in an intense, loud, conversation spewing out all kinds of angry, hurtful words at the person on the phone. So much so that it was awkward as people passed by. The sad reality is this is not uncommon. We were enjoying an evening out taking in some ice cream and another uncomfortable conversation erupted where both parties heaved out hurtful words in angry tones. We also have been seeing a whole lot of ‘mud-slinging’ as the news media tends to enjoy subjecting us to angry rants and biting comments.
Why is there so much angry, hurtful, careless words thrown around. The Bible would say the mouth speaks out that which fills the heart Matthew 12:34-35. I know that was true for me. As a young kid I had a bunch of anger, frustration, and hatred due to a growing up in an alcoholic family, being teased at school and home. I was unsettled and raging inside and it came out in all kinds of obscenities and cruel words.
Luke 6:43-45 43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Yet that all changed when I took in the soothing words of God’s truth from the Bible. I learned that God loved me unconditionally
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
That word “steadfast love” means the loyal, committed love of God that continues to love us regardless of who we are or what we have done. It is an always flowing, ever present, love.
Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This love is not only God’s delight in us (see Zephaniah 3:17) but providing us the way of salvation from evil, anger producing sin that has affected us all.
1 John 4:9-10 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins.
These words matter. For to take them in, to believe in them, changes us. I know it did me. When I realized how much God loved me and what He did to secure that love, I believed. In choosing to embrace God’s love, my heart was changed and my mouth, my words reflected that change.
What do the words you speak reveal about your heart? Let the good words of God’s truth sooth the core of your being, soak in His love and see the change.
Church can be a good place to soak in the great love of God. If you are not already connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this week. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net . It would be a great joy if you could join us.
Letting the good words of God soak in with you,