"Sticks and Stones" and the Power of Words
"Sticks and Stones" is a guest post by stylist, Rebeca Howe of the Yellow Arrow.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." I’ve bet you’ve heard of this saying so many times. But can I be honest with you? It’s further from the truth! You know when I was growing up I wasn’t the cutest kid. I had lots of freckles on my face and I may had had a unibrow that I inherited from my dad. (Thanks dad)! I remember being teased on how I looked a lot; and one day specifically...
I was in the first grade and two young 6 graders where drawing carictures for $0.25. I was so excited to give them my money to have them draw me a picture of me! Little did I know that as I sat in a chair they began to ridicule me and pick apart all the parts of my face that they didn’t like. They laughed at my big nose and all my dots on my face and so much more. I remember walking away just devastated - feeling like I was the ugliest girl on the planet. That day forever marked me.
You see that moment in time that I began to carry those words close to my heart, I didn't see myself beautiful. I looked at all the girls in my school and thought: God why did you create me this way? My self esteem was down in the dumps for many, many years. Until my senior year in High school... a friend wrote something in my yearbook that changed my perspective. In her words she said: “Rebeca, don’t ever settle for less you are such a beautiful person." Can I tell you... I looked over those words for days because I had never been told I was beautiful from my friends or peers... besides my parents who of course will always tell you that and they ought too! But I never believed it for myself. From that day forward I began this healing process of letting go of the words those boys told me and that effected me for so many years. I had to let go of the hurt and the pain.
If we as humans have learned anything in life are that words are so powerful. Proverbs 18:21 It says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Words have the power to heal or hurt.
Just take a minute and think about that... What I say to myself, what I say to my family, what I say to my friends, what I say about my enemies... words have POWER. They can either destroy or build or heal or hurt! Can I be frank with you? I haven’t always got it right. Especially when someone wrongs me... I will be the first to say, “Well I hope they deserve the worst..", or, “Well good I am glad they didn’t succeed. That’s what they get.” Has anybody else said this? Can we be human for a second?
I think all of us have said these things one way or another. I think it’s safe to say that we have spoken death and been very critical over ourselves and others. But thank God for His mercy and compassion that he doesn’t strike us down. In his great mercy he forgives us when we repent and recognize that we need Him. Boy do I need Him, to help me speak LIFE daily!
I don’t know about you but I want to be an agent that builds and heals. I want to build others when they are down, or when their self esteems have been broken, I want to build others that have dreams and aspirations to be something great, or that builds others when they can’t build themselves. I want to be that agent... That speaks blessings and not curses over my brother or sister. I want to speak LIFE and not death.
So before we spew words of hate and destruction let’s ask ourselves is this worth it? Will I gain anything from seeing people suffer, hurt or fall? And how does this reflect what’s inside of me? Matthew 12:34 “ For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” What comes out of my mouth is a pure reflection of what’s in my heart. I want my heart to be pure and to be a life giver. I want those around me to say “that girl Rebeca she knows how to encourage and speak life” that’s what I want to be known for.
So I pose a question for you... well you be an agent of Life? Will you be one that speaks love when those around us hurt us? Will you choose to be a builder rather than a destroyer? Will we choose words to heal or to hurt. We ultimately have a choice and it’s daily one too! I DARE you... throw those sticks and stones to the side and choose to speak LIFE over yourself and others today and everyday.
Photos taken by Anna Eskridge at Hip + Innovative Studio Boutique