Sticks and stones may break my bones, and words can hurt and scar me!

After reading a post by my dear friend, my mind began to trip onto some thoughts about the mind. Our minds are very complicated and sensitive, which is why words can hurt so much. This friend wrote of an anger she felt about her friend experiencing verbal abuse, and it frustrated this sweet soul even more that her friend and others her friend told ACCEPTED it.

As a past sufferer of this, I understand. What many do not understand is that verbal abuse is so much worse than physical abuse. I don’t say that to indicate that physical abuse is in any way okay or no big deal, I have been there too and know differently. However, the effects of verbal abuse stay with you for much longer! It damages way deeper than the surface. Physical abuse hurts and can damage your body, but verbal abuse can affect the soul.

Another friend of mine had to remind me recently that God does not create failures. Although I feel like one more often than not, it is merely a mental game the devil plays with me. How could any creation of God be a failure? It can’t be! Do I believe this traces back to my teen years? Most likely. I guess when the person you think you love tells you that enough, it starts to stick.

I teach preschoolers in junior church every Sunday. One thing I have realized is that repetition is important. A child needs to hear things over and over, and it eventually sticks. This is one of the reasons that children’s songs tend to repeat lyrics as well. If you hear something repeatedly, it tends to get written in your mind and in your heart. Well, this can work for good or evil.

When someone hears that they are ugly all the time or that they are worthless, they begin to believe it without consciously realizing it. If someone hears that they will never succeed all the time, they will not succeed. If someone hears that they are inferior all the time, they will feel inferior.If someone hears that nobody will ever love them, they will feel unloved.

Our minds are a powerful tool that can be used for God or can be controlled by Satan. It is where the devil builds his strongholds. Once a stronghold is built, it takes the power of Christ to tear it down. It also may take the love and support of brothers and sisters in Christ to help tear it down. This is what the Reformer’s Unanimous program does – it offers the help of God’s Word, the help of brothers and sisters in Christ who can relate, and the help of teachers/preachers who deliver what God has to say.

That old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” is a big fat lie. It more accurately should say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, and names can hurt and scar me.”

If you know someone going through verbal abuse, I am going to ask you straight-up to please pray for them and try to guide them to seek help. They may not realize it, but they need a good friend to lovingly push them in a much more positive direction. Don’t allow them to accept this as normal (but be KIND in the way you do it). Jesus does not want anyone to be hurt this way – especially His children!

Words can hurt more than fists, but words can also heal many wounds! God’s Word is the ultimate healer of it all!


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