In a recent Geico commercial a principle is taught, it is done in an interesting, comical and slightly confusing way, but it is there. It is based off the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The fact is, words can be more hurtful than sticks and stones. Words change lives for the better or worse. A bruise or bone will heal, but soul wounds, made by words, could exist your entire life.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” The words that we speak, once spoken can never be taken back. We have an immense power, the power of words. In the United States, we have law set to protect our right to these words, written, spoken, private and public. If words mean nothing, these laws would not be in place. It is because of the great impact that words can have that the right to them has to be protected.
Recent studies also show that words effect us physically. Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman in their article “The Most Dangerous Word in the World”, talk about how the effects of negative words on people. Using an MRI, they watched the effect of the word “NO” shown for less than a second. The results were amazing, stress hormones and neurotransmitters were immediately activated by this word.
Words can hurt everyone, the listener and the speaker. “If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say “no,” more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well” (Newberg & Waldman).
Now we are relying on science and technology to show us the effects of words, but this is not a new idea. Matthew 15:18 teaches, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”
Words change our lives, we must consider each thing that we say and effect that it will have. Words are powerful, use them wisely.