parenting · scripture

Words

tongue 2

Words hurt. Contrary to the children’s rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” words hurt. They are powerful little things.

At some point in my early childhood, I was told I couldn’t sing. I don’t remember who told me that, but I remember hearing it more than once. So I didn’t. I didn’t join choirs or try out for solos. Then, during my senior year in high school, the choir director made me audition for the summer swing choir, even though I only wanted to be the sound technician.

I sang a solo all summer.

Same thing happened in college. I had to audition for every play the theatre department produced, even as a technical major (a requirement for which I am now ever so grateful). I ended up in a Shakespeare play, with a singing role. Then I learned as a senior, in music theory, that I actually have relative pitch and can carry a tune.

But in my head, even today, all I hear is “you can’t sing.” Words are powerful, and they hurt.

At church growing up, people told me repeatedly that I was gifted with a servant’s heart. I loved, and still do to this day, to be behind the scenes. Put me backstage, in the kitchen, in an office somewhere with a bunch of files – I loved and love to help out in what are perceived to be menial tasks that most people seem to avoid.

In my first full time ministry role, the senior pastor was on a rant one day and yelled at me that I was selfish and didn’t have a servant’s heart anywhere in my body.

I was crushed. I had never, in over twenty years, been told such a thing.

Words are powerful, and they hurt. 

Last year, people I know were getting involved in something rooted in the occult. I was called a Pharisee, and my love for the Truth and the power of God’s Word being the only guidance you need were thrown into my face as negative, divisive, and legalistic.

Words are powerful, and they hurt.

Frequently, I have to remind myself of this.

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
                                                         but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.                                                        – Proverbs 15:4

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