How many of you learned the rhyme (and used it at appropriate times) sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? I remember the neighbor kids who lived behind me used to torment me with these words.
I’m not sure why, exactly, but it really made me angry. Probably that’s all they wanted – a reaction. Proof of their superiority over me.
My little granddaughter Lillian Grace (name sound familiar? I used it in Retribution) broke her arm. Sticks and stones did hurt her as she landed on the ground.
As for words never hurting us? I can think of times, unfortunately, I have hurt others by something I flippantly let slip past my lips. The wounds were not obvious like Lilly’s broken bone, but the pain was there. I could see it on their faces. I could feel it in my heart as my anger vented out.
What are we to do when the anger builds in us until the pressure forces its release?
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 139. David acknowledges that God knows every word he is going to say before he says them. “Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely (vs. 4).” David tells God about his anger and his hate. He might as well, since God knows already. But then comes the best part in verse 23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting.” After I have blasted God, shouting my anger, then help me to get rid of it. Help me to leave it at Your door.
I need to have some “knee time” and do some “pillow pounding” right now. Life isn’t always fair, and someone will hear about it. I will follow David’s lead and give it to God, rather than some unsuspecting person who becomes my “last straw.”
May God lead you in ways of everlasting this week.