Sticks and Stones

We’ve all heard the old saying; “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” You may have shared this saying with your children. I know I used to hear it quite often, but in all reality nothing could be farther from the truth. Bones heal, but the damage that is done by the tongue reaches much farther, and destroys much more than bones.

The Bible described the tongue as a small part of the body with a tremendous ability to destroy. It says that “the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire…” – James 3:5-6.

It is amazing the amount of damage that begins with only a small spark. The great Chicago fire of 1871, before it could be contained, destroyed 17,500 buildings, killed 300 people, and left 125,000 others homeless. This blaze began when a lantern in Mrs. O’Leary’s barn was presumably kicked over by her cow. What a tragedy. Equal is the tragedy of the many lives that are affected by the words that come forth from our mouths. Just as a spark can start a whole forest on fire, a few destructive words can destroy someone’s character and life.

What is true of the negative sense of our words can be true of the positive as well. The Bible says “A soothing tongue (Word) is a tree of life, But a perversion in it crushes the spirit” – Proverbs 15:4. How many times do we use our words to hurt those around us, even our spouse and children. It only takes a few words to start an argument or crush the feelings of a loved one or acquaintance. The Lord tells us that we are to “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29.

What proceeds from your mouth, blessing or destruction? Do your children or spouse feel like they are walking on eggs around you because you could go off like a rocket at any moment? What do your words convey about you? Remember, words can be much more damaging than sticks and stones. Think about it next time you open your mouth, are you throwing a stone, or speaking the truth in love?

Would you like to know more? We would love to talk with you, pray for you, and help you discover God’s truth and hope for life. Call us at 425-432-0634, or visit us at You may also join us each Sunday, 9 AM for Sunday school, and 10:15 AM for Worship. We are located at: 21110 244th Ave. S.E., Maple Valley.