There is an old adage that simply says, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But in my opinion, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I think it could be better expressed in this manner, “broken bones will heal over time, but hurtful words can scar you for life.” So today, I would like to take a brief look at three types of conversations that Christians have the option to engage in.
1. Some conversations we engage in can be DEADLY. The Bible says it best in Proverbs 18:21 that states, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Simply put, if we are not careful, our words can be like a toxic poison that kills our audience. We can choose to weaponize our words by engaging in negative conversations that tear a person down, hurt their feelings, or even adversely impact their self-worth. We so easily allow our conversations to become poisonous.
2. Some conversations we engage in can be CARELESS. The word careless indicates being neglectful or without giving much thought. When we are careless in our conversations, we fail to consider how much our words will impact the people we are talking about. Whether we choose to take part in gossip, make fun, or even embellish while discussing the person, we can be so careless in the conversations we participate in. In addressing this issue David prays this prayer in Psalms 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” In short, David prayed that God keep him from putting his foot in his mouth. He wanted God to help him think before he spoke out of anger or raw emotion. We so easily allow our conversations to become careless.
3. Some conversations we engage in can be HEALING. Always remember, that the right words, at the right time can be a relief to the listener. The Bible says it best in Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Our words of affirmation, support, and inspiration can go a long way in encouraging those we are conversing with. We can make the extra effort to allow our conversations to become healing.
Yes, broken bones will heal over time, but hurtful words can scar you for life. So, let us be mindful that our conversations can be deadly, careless, or healing in nature. Choose healing as it will bring glory to our heavenly Father. I leave you with the words of Jesus found in Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”