Sticks & stones may break my bones
Sticks & stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
But---The Pen is mightier than the sword.
Sooo, pens write words which must be mightier than a sword, but will never hurt me!!?? I Remember being confused by the 2 of these as a kid. If words are more powerful than a sword, I thought, they can surely hurt me!
Many seem confused about words today. We live in a time in which words that are contrary to, or merely question, the official position are seen as such a threat that those who use such words are silenced via technology or bullying, self-righteous outrage. Despite the position of the historical revisionist, I can find no time in our nation's history that is the equal of such oppression of free speech. Nazis, Communists and other tyrannies working to turn citizens into obedient cogs for the greater “good”, work by suppressing ideas and interaction. But America was founded on the Christian idea of real tolerance and thrived under the idea that “I'll defend to the death your right to disagree with me.” A place where words are to stay mostly civil and after airing various sides, we try some version of the best idea.
The reality is that words carry ideas, and ideas mold thought which are where actions come from. So words lead to actions, and if one is trying to control another, words have long-term repercussions. Words are not empty. The ancients saw that words are like an arrow, that once let loose has a life of its own you no longer control—and you can't take it back! More recently Blaise Pascal wrote “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”
Naturally, the Bible has much to say about words. Proverbs 16:24 =“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 18:21= “Death and life are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 11:9= “Evil words destroy one’s friends And Proverbs 12:18 =“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
The ultimate Word. The most powerful Word is the Word of God—the Bible. Remember, God merely spoke and Creation was created! God's Word is SO powerful, it is referred to as the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6:17. This sword destroys lies, evil, sin, death. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, he resisted and overcame with Scripture. But like a physical sword, we must practice in order to be competent with it.
Frederick W. Faber wrote “With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.”
But remember, the goal is truth, not mere non-confrontational politeness. Jesus did not merely politely ignore wrong or evil because it wouldn't be “nice”. No. Ignoring wrong or evil is absolutely, positively NOT nice. In fact Matthew 12:36 says “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an account for it in the day of judgment” This certainly applies to thoughtless or mean words, but it also applies to being careless in NOT saying what we should in opposition to that which is UN-Godly
We are not in this alone. Remember, the Bible is the sword of the Spirit. The Spirit has come here to help in just such situations. Obviously, we have our part to play, look at Colossians 4:6, which says “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Christians are to confidently use our words to promote God's Word & purposes to a confused world in great need of it. Pastor Geoff Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Mathew 4: 1-4 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Matthew 4: 10