the words that people say can often have such an impact on us. especially in this unloving world that we live in where we often know only how to criticize people rather than encourage them.  The older generation are a good example of that.  Sometimes when i give a compliment to them they look at me suspiciously like as though i’m trying to get money from them.

on the other hand, people also perceive the words that they hear differently.  you could say something with only the best intents but the person listening may read into it differently and believe that they’re secretly being criticised or made fun of.  On the other hand there are also those who listen to criticism and don’t even bat an eyelid.  They feel that they’re always right so what others say about them is irrelevant.

I’m sort of in between.  I listen to what people say and if the person is a close friend (or relative) i tend to let it sink in deeper, be it criticism or compliment.  If the person is an absolute idiot, i don’t believe their words are worth listening to so i tune them out.

Occasionally though, God does use the words of the foolish to shame the ‘wise’ and I have been put in my place a fair number of times by people who were honest enough to take me down a notch or two.  I appreciate that.

But there’s no denying the power that words have over us and their ability to affect the way that we feel.  No wonder God warns in the book of James how the tongue, though small, can make great boasts and start a large fire from it’s small ‘sparks’.

why do people take small meaningless words so seriously?  Why do we allow ourselves to get upset so often?

The poem, ‘sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never harm me‘ seems to only be partially correct.  Mean words do hurt and cause near irreparable harm that scratches and bruises cannot.

And we need to remember that… and hold back that second longer when we make a reply.  Because you can never take a word that’s said back and the amount of effort that goes into mending such a wound far outweighs the effort in exercising restraint.


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