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Most people have heard and/or uttered the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  Like so many other sayings, this one has also passed into the working knowledge of handling and viewing life that so many people draw guidance from.  As Christians, however, we must measure life’s sayings by the Word of God to see if what is being said is Scripturally supportable or not.  So what about “Sticks and stones…”?   What does the Bible say about words?



Proverbs 15:1-2, 4:  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness…A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:8 & 26:22:  The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles; and they go down into the inmost body.

Proverbs 18:21- Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

James 3:4-8: Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.  Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.  But no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

The Bible has a lot more to say about words, but these selected Scriptures from Proverbs and James alone make it very clear that words have power.  They can hurt people.  In fact, they can kill.  When something negative is said about someone, even if it is not true, it has power to destroy.  Such words can destroy the reputation of the one talked about, and if the person who hears what is said takes the words to heart, he or she can be harmed or destroyed by them, even if the words spoken are false.

In these evil last days we are living in, people are often blunt and callous in how they talk.  They yell at and insult others, they spew forth profanity, they make fun of people, they lie and deceive and falsely accuse, they gossip and spread rumors, they tell profane and dirty jokes, and on it goes.  Social media is teeming with words of death and destruction.  If we are not careful of how we talk or what we hear, we can be adversely affected or we can negatively affect others.  One good example of speaking negativity over others is the things people say about those who have been in prison, especially convicted sex offenders.

Those of us who have been in jail or prison know how cruel the guards and other staff members—and society—can be.  To them were crybabies, wimps, losers, animals, quitters, and a whole lot of other things, some of it unprintable in a Christian forum.  Sex offenders—well, it’s worse than that.  To cap it off, those who have been labeled as SO’s are told that they are incurable, and in today’s atmosphere of politicized “science” there are psychiatrists and psychologists who go so far as to say they are born that way.  Born that way?  That is a bald-faced lie.  Absolutely not!  Incurable?  Well, then, is sexual deviance too hard for the blood of Jesus Christ to wash away?  No!  There is nothing too hard for the Lord!

But what if you believe any of this nonsense, whether it pertains to sexual offenders or to convicted felons in general?  From personal experience I can tell you that it will eat you alive. With my self-esteem already in the basement these negative words about felons being spoken over me were like spiritual battery acid.  Coupled with an unhealthy view of God, I struggled for years to even believe He had really forgiven me.  It took a gastric hemorrhage from heavy drinking plus seizures from alcohol withdrawal to finally start snapping me out of it.  There are people who have died from gastric hemorrhages.

In the early morning hours of September 28, 2012, as I sat in a hospital emergency room, God had mercy on me and stopped the bleeding.  It has been a long road out of the swamp of self-condemnation, but I’m back on the right path now, and I can see that a lot of what happened to me was choosing to believe the lies over me personally and folks that have erred the same way that I did in general.

If you are a convicted felon, regardless of the crime, the system has a vested interest in keeping you “down”.  Despite the lie and seeming acceptance of the “Sticks and stones” saying, there are many people who are well aware of the power of words.  Ask any ex-occultist who has spoken curses.  These words about us, that we’re losers, incurable, unredeemable, those who speak them
know they are detrimental!  If we keep believing the lies, half-truths, propaganda, and agendas in the guise of science, we will continue to behave as criminals.  The jails and the prisons will stay full, guards and other correctional staff members will remain employed, the powers that be will keep making money even though they cry out about the expensiveness of incarceration costs, and folks will continue to be victimized.
The spiritual poison we take into ourselves does not absolve any of us of responsibility, but to deny that such awful words are a contributing factor to criminal behavior would be to deny reality and common sense.

In light of all this, what do we do?  We choose to speak words of life rather than words of death, even when confronting sin.  We choose to believe what the Bible says about us as believers, and we pray for all who are caught up in the criminal justice meat-grinder.  By extension we pray for all other people, as anyone anywhere can be harmed and destroyed by evil words.  We pray for all other believers who are not convicted felons to also believe what the Word says about Christians.  And what does it say?

Romans 8:1, 14-18, 28-39:  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together…And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One Response

  1. AMEN!!! PREACH!!! That there is a TRUTH that a whole lot of people need to take to heart, not only in the Christian and church world, but especially also in how they raise their children. There is so much trauma needlessly poured upon kids by their parents simply because the parent chooses to not speak truth to the child. Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. This does mean and include how they (the children) are spoken to by parents, teachers and others. 🙂