There’s that old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” A well known saying but as of late I’m not sure I believe that it’s true. Yes sticks and stones may break bones but words can hurt. Now the deeper meaning to that phrase is that the person saying them feels unthreatened and unaffected by the harsh words of another person. But what just what if we didn’t need to use the phrase at all? What if everyone worked together to be kind and only speak words of encouragement. A task far easier said than done. And very applicable for me in all aspects of my life.
This phrase and thought came to me a couple of weeks back as I experienced a number of circumstances where someone’s words or actions, although unintentionally, upset someone around them. It then made me assess myself and the way I talk and act. Is it possible that I am hurting other with my words and actions even if unintentionally. Is it possible that I am letting other people’s words and actions affect me negatively. This is what I discovered:
I consider myself to be physically fit. Am I at my ideal or my goal no but I’m working and training to get there. I realized with reflection though that I let how others have treated me or talk to me drive my effort level. When one of the guys calls out to another guy and says “you shoot like a girl” when playing basketball, or I watch a girl lap me in the pool I have let it take me beyond just a place of motivation to a place of anger, frustration and dissatisfaction with myself and my body. It was never either persons intention to put me down or make me feel bad yet I am left feeling down about myself all the same. The same is true of my actions, if I’m a bad sport or can’t laugh at my short comings, if I over exert myself and brag about how good I’m doing I may be unintentionally be hurting those around me. So I’ve decided this week to ask for humbleness.
“But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes he will say to you,friend move up to a better place, then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted”
Emotionally I am at a good place I feel the people I am surrounded by love me and I know they have no intention to hurt me or put me down. I worry however that I may be hurting them by the words that I say. I have often been told that I am very blunt and very black and white. Which at times is a great quality to have. It can however lead me to say things at times that are insensitive. My prayer moving forward is that my words will be guided, that I will know when to talk and when to be silent, when to make a statement and when to listen
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”
This is probably where I struggle most. Coming back to my black and whiteness this is the subject where I am quickest to take offence and probably unknowingly offending others. The unfortunate part here is that my judgements and criticisms are based upon thoughts and opinions of others around me and not my own determinations and knowledge. So my need in this area is for knowledge for a better, firmer grasp of what I believe and why I believe it so that when spiritual warfare does arise (and it will) I will be ready.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I guess in conclusion what I am trying and wanting to say is that we are all human. We all make mistakes no body is perfect. And sometimes things people say or do around us may be hurtful but it’s how we take those words and that hurt and what we do with them that determines our happiness and our impact on others.