Whoever created this saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was aware that words do hurt.
What we say and how we say it, makes all the difference to the receiver and to God. Taking control of our conversation is so important that the Bible says, If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26
Someone has appropriately written,
Soft words sung in a lullaby will put a babe to sleep. Excited words will stir a mob to violence. Eloquent words will send armies marching into the face of death. Encouraging words will fan to flame the genius of a Rembrandt or a Lincoln. Powerful words will mold the public mind as the sculptor molds his clay. Words, spoken or written, are a dynamic force.
Words are the swords we use in our battle for success and happiness. How others react toward us depends, in a large measure, upon the words we speak to them. Life is a great whispering gallery that sends back echoes of the words we send out! Our words live beyond us. They go marching through the years in the lives of all those with whom we come in contact. Unknown author
Our emotions influence what we say and how we say it. Many have let their uncontrolled anger drive them into possessing a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. However, we need to clarify that anger is only harmful if it is unleashed and misdirected toward others. God created us in His image, along with our emotions, including anger. And this is where things go awry because we lack knowledge of “why” we have this emotion.
And “do not sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27
God gave us our emotions, which include anger. The problem is that anger is misunderstood because there is a lack of understanding of God, the Giver. God never intended for us to use our anger against others. Anger is to be used against all facets of injustice, heinous acts, and crimes against humanity. We are to hate sin and evil, but not the person or people who commit the wrongdoing. Without anger, we would be tolerant of oppression, child molestation, human trafficking, etc.
Yes, we should possess passionate, strong feelings against all horrific actions; still, God gives us strict guidelines on anger because anger gives birth to like “Hate!” And then we end up like a tangled ball of yarn, full of sinful emotions and feelings, misdirecting our emotions and feelings against other human beings that God created in His image. Uncontrolled anger is a catalyst that results in verbalizing harsh and hurtful words that flow like water from a broken dam.
Our words can break down relationships and destroy self-esteem and self-worth, especially in our children. The domino effect of unrestrained anger causes us to think and speak toxic words against those who we love and victimize others with hate speeches. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James 3:6
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20
Without wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures, and guidance from the Holy Spirit, in our carnal state of mind, we misunderstand all that is spiritual. Anger, hatred, hurtful spoken words, and unforgiveness place us outside of God’s will and prevent us from possessing the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. And It would be remiss not to mention the sinful feelings of unforgiveness toward others, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25.
“Forgive but never forget” is not biblically supported. Make a list of the values that you live by and compare them to the Word of God. It may come as a surprise that many of our favorite inspirational songs and phrases contain words and concepts that are worldly, and cannot be found in the Bible.
Remember that anger is only destructive when we lack the knowledge and wisdom to use it as God intended. Many biblical scriptures speak of the wrath of God. Even so, what is the factor that precipitates the anger of God? It is the evil of sin and the impact that sin has over humanity. Genesis 6 gives an account of “A World Gone Wrong,”
The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6
God is Holy and Righteous; therefore, He must possess wrath against the wickedness that results from sin. Although God hates the evil of sin, He does not hate the sinner. You may have been taught that God does hate the sinner, if that concept were real, then God would be filled with wrath against the entire human race.
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. Romans 3:10
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
The present condition of our world compares to that of Noah’s time. God is merciful and long-suffering: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9
As long as we have breath in our bodies, we have the opportunity to change the characteristics that are enmity against God. We can pray for a change!
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
We have received instruction not to misdirect our anger, nor to use words as weapons, and to let go of the bitterness of unforgiveness. When faced with the urge to retaliate and speak bitter words sparked by anger, just stop and pray! There are many times that we must use silence and give our problems to God, our Heavenly Father. God is here and waiting to help us change into loving, faithful, and self-controlled people that are waiting to receive our reward of Eternal life.
Disclaimer: This writer does not condone or promote giving, receiving, or tolerating abuse in any form whether it is mental, emotional, verbal, or physical.
Bible Reading: James 3
God, we ask forgiveness for the sins of speaking wounding words, having uncontrolled anger, and holding on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. It is our desire to think positive thoughts and to speak life-giving words. As we compare our character to the Fruit of the Spirit, we realize that we cannot change without your Divine Intervention. Please bless our efforts as we prepare for Eternal life. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz RN 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.