“Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but Words will Never Hurt me!”
I remember this famous idiomatic expression way back as a little girl, usually during a disagreement or name calling. One person will say to another “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.
In retrospect, this is not entirely true; words do hurt. Words are very powerful; negative words have a negative impact on an individual, if not long term damage. No wonder the bible refers to the tongue as ‘a tiny rudder that makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go and is a small thing, but can cause enormous damage’ James3v5.
Words like “you will never amount to anything”, “you are worthless”, “you are stupid”, “You are not good enough”, this person is better than you” or “you will never learn”, spoken over an individual have a corresponding negative effect. Vice Versa, positive words produce a positive outcome.
As a teenager, my mother once said to me “You will never amount to anything”. I know she said this out of annoyance at that time. I understand her predicament and I do not have anything against her. As of that remark, I had to deal with it because it did have some effect on me.
There is a lot of negativism all around us. I have observed the damaging effect negative words have had over other people. Parents are criticising their children and children having a go at their parents; wives on husbands and husbands on their wives and employers on employee.
When negative words are constantly drummed into an individual, the person begins to believe that which has been spoken over his/her life.
As a mother, I try to encourage my children to be positive about them selves and to speak life building words over themselves. It is good to be open to constructive criticism which is different from negative comments.
Negative words can give birth to poor self esteem. Recent statistics revealed that 50% of young girls are engaged in negative activities such as injuring, cutting themselves or engaging in unhealthy eating habits linked to poor self esteem or self esteem issues.
Do not allow another negative word to be spoken over you today! Now say this with me “No word that is said against me shall succeed and any tongue that shall rise up in judging me I condemn” Do you believe what you’ve just said?