“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me.”
Despite what this phrase may suggest, modern studies show that verbal abuse can actually have long-lasting psychological effects, which may sometimes manifest in physical ways. Wounding words do not necessarily have to come exclusively from bullies. They can also come from friends, family members and loved ones, according to Psychology Today. Just like there is no single defining type of verbal abuse, there is no single defining stereotype of a verbal abuser.
As a Pastor, preacher, teacher, and counselor I rely heavily on words. I have learned that the right choice of words spoken under the unction of the Holy Spirit can transform or liberate a life. I have seen the devastation caused by words in the lives of people as well. I have seen how careless words spoken in emotional instability can bring great division, hurt and even different forms of death. Words are used every day to incite riots and hatred.
Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words. Words do much more than convey information. They have the power to destroy one’s spirit. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.
This Sunday we are going to explore the power of the spoken word from various perspectives. I truly believe that this is a message that if we are truly willing to hear and respond can bring great transformation in many areas of our life.