We’ve quoted it since childhood. For many of us it was our first experience with sarcasm and even though you’ve yet to read it, when you read the title of today’s blog, the words were likely running through your mind… “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never harm me.” What a farce! What crazed mind thought up that saying and why do we teach it to our children? The person who had the original thought, and those of us who say it are likely trying to convince themselves that the person who said the hurtful words doesn’t matter; and they do, else it wouldn’t hurt so deep. I’ve been both the recipient and the thrower of stones. I’m shocked at how quickly words are a game changer for me. The Jesus Chick, who’s supposed to be spiritually mature and within seconds I revert back to that child on the playground who just wants to go home where people won’t be mean to me. I want to take off my Jesus Chick hat pretend that God didn’t call me for such a time as this. Maybe time will wait.
Time waits for no man.
That quote is true, but the other is untrue and unbiblical. Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Apparently Jewish law had rules against the specific insult raca, (meaning vain, empty or worthless) but Jesus shows that any verbal abuse makes one liable to eternal damnation. Praise God for salvation through faith and the grace of God, for certain I’d be guilty. It is obvious from this scripture that Jesus takes words serious, but do we? We believe that our pain and anguish is justification enough to warrant lashing out at someone, after all they’ll get over it. Do we know that for sure? Our flippant word spoken in frustration might not have been “so bad” but it may not have been the first word spoken to that person and could just end up as the fatal blow to their soul. The one that takes them out of the game.
Ninety-nine percent of the time an ill spoken word will roll off of me like water on a duck’s back…. And then one won’t. It just sticks and Satan drives it into my brain with a hammer and I find myself out of the game and warming the bench. But this morning I met with the Coach who drew me into Matthew 5:22, and showed me clearly that because of salvation I was not in danger of hell fire, but if I allowed words to take me out of the game, someone else might be in danger. And if I used words as a weapon this too could cause someone to fall into Hell, because rather than seeing Jesus they’d see the harshness of life and give up looking for hope.
Words can build up, or tear down. I pray that mine always build on the foundation that Christ laid for me. Christians, we have a job to do… time waits for no man. You, who are unsaved…God has allowed you another day to get it right before it’s ever lasting too late. What is “it.” The game changer! Salvation. It is what will allow you to see that though the words of man may hurt, the Word of Christ will heal. Get in the game.