sticks and stones

sticks and stones  images courtesy of

“Sticks and stones, Luv”! I say in a pathetic British accent, usually to the kids. They know it’s my horrible impersonation of Johnny Depp’s character Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Everyone knows it was taken from what I think could be considered a nursery rhyme.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” The obvious intent is to teach children to take words that hurt, spoken by others, with a grain of salt.

The problem is that the nursery rhyme is not true. It’s a big fat lie… It brings to mind another childhood saying. “Liar, liar, pants on fire”!

Words are a profound force in our world. Words have changed the world itself, sometimes for good, sometimes for worse, but everything starts with a word, whether in thought, speech, or print.

We learn young how to use our words to provoke emotion in others. We as kids didn’t know or think of our words as powerful tools and weapons. Most folks even as adults don’t grasp the power of the written or spoken word.

I’ve exchanged pretty harsh words with many people in my past, I’m compelled to admit being gentle with words isn’t always my strong suit. My personality is one that enjoys teasing for interactional fun, as exampled in the opening line of this post, but there is a time to be serious.

This personality has brought on some sharp rebukes over the years. Some harsh words that have been spoken to me still ring in my ears as though I heard them just yesterday. Though there is forgiveness, some vicious words spoken will linger throughout a lifetime.

I had a Free Enterprise teacher in high school tell me very calmly with specific intent, “You will be a complete failure in life”… In fairness to him, I understand he was actually letting out frustration most likely, at least in part, brought on by me. While his intention was to cause some type of pain, he truly believed with conviction his assessment.

I’ve had more than a couple of people across the years tell me with great emotion, “I hate you”!!! That doesn’t usually happen out of the blue and for nothing; that extreme of an emotional statement usually has some ashes from a burnt fuse leading up from behind the explosion.

I’ve even had a few death threats… I guess that’s taking the emotion manifested in words to the highest level of frustration. Interesting how doing a difficult job can put you in harms way.

When I was younger I used words as legal weapons to control, provoke, revenge, and occasionally repair. I used words gifted from God to use as fists to beat enemies and loved ones alike. Similar to giving a loaded gun to a child.

Have you ever noticed the person who uses words written or spoken to advance a secular position are usually the least secure? Or is it just my imagination?

The word written or spoken in truth seeks no enemies in this flesh. Speaking truth can usually be measured in the emotion of the one writing or speaking the words.

I can’t change the world… Only God and His perfect Word can accomplish that. I can only speak truth in love the way I know it to be. That doesn’t mean I agree with everyone or that I won’t stand against the majority of the world in the process.

God calls us to use His gift of truth, not to beat anybody up, but to share His truth which is love. The outcome is up to Him. I’m only blessed to see His hand at work in my life and the lives of others.

To the ones I’ve used my words as sticks and stones on and against, I can only use the humble words, “I’m sorry Luv,” and, “Give me another shot mate.”

With a British accent of course…