It’s a lie. Absolutely not true. The rhyme I heard on the playground in elementary school is simply false. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Words matter. Words make a difference.
There’s a catchy song by Hawk Nelson that I can’t get out of my mind. The lyrics of the song “Words” go like this:
They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king
They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began
Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out
And then the refrain of the song is a prayer of hope and commitment: “Let my words be life, Let my words be truth, I don’t wanna say a word, Unless it points the world back to You.”
King Solomon of ancient Hebrew fame said it this way, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). What if we each took that truth to heart every single day of our lives as leaders, parents, friends and neighbors. You are either going to bring life or death to your spouse, your children, your employee, your customer or a stranger today by what comes out of your mouth. That is powerful when you pause to reflect.
Every single day your words either encourage or discourage, build up or tear down, elate or deflate the people around you. What will the people you have conversations with today, experience?
Today, I’m flying from Florida to Oregon to spend a week with my parents and other family members. I plan to speak to every airport restroom worker that I see today and thank them for what they do to keep these busy restrooms clean. I can’t wait. It always seems to catch them by surprise and repeatedly brings a smile to their faces.
QUESTION: What is one thing you will do today to speak words of blessing to others? Please share it below so others are encouraged. Thanks!