“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is absolute nonsense. Words wound deeply. Many relational conflicts would dissipate if we would follow the wisdom of these verses:
4:15, 25 –
Speak the truth in love; the truth, but in love.
Truth can be spoken to wound. We can wrongly believe it is more loving to lie or keep silent. Truth can hurt, but if spoken in love it cures and we grow. As members of Christ’s body we support and strengthen each other when, in love, we speak the truth.
4:26, 29-31 –
Be very careful what you say while angry.
How often we regret angry words later. But like toothpaste, once it’s out it doesn’t go back in again.
Root out any bitterness, rage or malice in you
(4:31). Confession, repentance and forgiveness (4:32) are the keys. Get the help you need right away.
4:29, 5:4 –
Both what we say and how we say it count.
Obscenity, foolish talk and coarse joking are offensive and demeaning. They tear down. Our goal is to build up and benefit
according to people’s needs.
Are you critical and faultfinding or gentle and encouraging? Speak to others as you would have them speak to you.
May all I say be uplifting to people who hear me. Amen.