Have you ever been greatly encouraged by something someone said? Have you have been deeply wounded by something someone said? Anyone who has seen the movie Bambi probably remembers Thumper’s mother prodding him to say, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice… don’t say nothin’ at all.”
It’s not just what we say, but how we say it. Only a small percentage of communication is about the words. Anyone who has been misunderstood through a text or email knows that. Communication also involves body language and our tone of voice. Our words can say one thing while our body language and tone of voice say another.
When you were a child and someone said something mean, did you ever chant the rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Is that really true, or do some words actually still hurt? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
A Japanese proverb says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” But doesn’t it seem like a hurtful word can last a lifetime—or wound and destroy relationships? Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Life and healing are in the power of the tongue. Let’s give life.