So today’s post isn’t an especially happy one. In fact it’s quite serious. It’s life or death.
In light of the recent (apparent) suicide of Chester Bennington, lead singer of a secular band called Linkin Park, and all of the other recent suicides we’ve heard about in the media, I have something to share.
In elementary school, children are taught a lie that is so detrimental that it is literally killing people. A poisonous phrase that children across America and the world have come to believe and attempt to use in their daily struggles with peers. This phrase, designed by Hell itself, seems so innocent. But it’s a bold face lie. And The kids believe it.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The bible says that no man can tame the tongue and that “it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Our words are extremely powerful. We have the power to use our words to tear people down. Words can cause emotional pain that will scar another human being for life. To say that sticks and stones would hurt worse is an ignorant statement of the highest order. A scar from a rock thrown can heal. The pain of that physical wound will subside. But the deep pain that words cause is often irreversible. Once a word has been spoken, it cannot be unspoken. People cannot unsee, unfeel, unhear, or unexperience. The stabbing pain of a hurtful comment to a soft heart is not so easily remedied. No amount of “sorry”‘s will ever fill the void of self-esteem that the bully has left in the heart of the victim. No band aids. No casts. No amount of depression medication is enough. The pain snowballs and, if left unhealed, that snowball will eventually tumble over the edge of the cliff.
Proverbs 18:21 KJV “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
Death AND LIFE. Just like words have the power to cut down, maim, and scar, they also have the power to encourage, build up, and breathe life. The bible says that God is love. God desires us to live out His love and pour it into the lives of hurting people who need Him.
Proverbs 12:18 KJV “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”
God calls christians to spread hope, joy, and love; Not hate, jabs, and lies. When words come out of our mouths WE OUGHT TO THINK of the effect it will have on people! Don’t say something hurtful just to be funny! Just because the target laughs, doesn’t mean they actually enjoyed the jab. They may just be taking it good-naturedly and then going home tormented in their mind, wondering if you really meant that rude comment or if it’s true. Those sort of thoughts will lead them down a path that you didn’t mean to inspire. No joke is worth some one else’s pain. It’s not funny to hurt others. Speak words of encouragement to people and build them up to be what God intended them to be. That doesn’t mean you have to flatter them, it just means we all need to be genuinely kind to others.
We’re all going to give an account to God one day. An entire account of every word we’ve ever said, good or bad. What are you going to tell God if he says that the comment you made to Kyle in 7th grade led him to depression and then ultimately suicide in High school? Are you going to tell God that it was just a joke? That you were only kidding? That no harm was meant? That’s not good enough. That doesn’t bring back the life that was lost.
Proverbs 26: 18-19 KJV “As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?”
People aren’t always what they seem. The most popular kid in school could be the next suicide story in the local news. Talk to your friends. Don’t just assume that they’re okay because they’re popular and outwardly seem like they are having the time of their lives. We can’t know other people’s hearts. We can’t read into their soul. We can’t listen to the thoughts they have. Open the lines of communication. Be an encouragement even if you think someone may not need it. Every word that leaves our mouths should be lifting people up and making their day brighter.
Matthew 5:16 KJV “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Proverbs 15:4 KJV “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…”
1 Peter 3:10 KJV “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:”
Ultimately, what you say is a reflection of your heart. Is your heart full of hate and anger? Or is your heart bursting with love for people out there that need it?
Luke 6:45 KJV “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
If you’re someone who is hurting today, please know that God loves you. God wants to heal your heart the way only He can. That is through the saving power of God’s grace. God sent His only son, Jesus, to die for you on the cross because he VALUES YOU. Jesus rose again from the grave and CONQUERED SIN. Now He wants to help you conquer the sin you face in your life and keep you from eternal death in Hell. But not just a rescue from Hell, but also a rescue from your current pain and suffering. God wants to give you good things in this life, not just in Heaven. You are His most special creation and He created you to have a purpose for your life. Surrender your heart to Christ and find true happiness that this world can never ever give you. Tell God, right now, that you believe in Him, that He sent His only son to pay the price for your soul that He loves so much, and that you want to be saved from your sin through the saving power of Jesus’s blood. Tell Him you accept the gift! The gift of freedom, love, compassion, help, and healing!
Jesus died so that you wouldn’t have to suffer here on earth, only to die and be separated from Him in Hell for all eternity. You cannot find everlasting joy in Heaven on your own. There’s only one way. Aren’t you tired of carrying your burden of heart ache and hurts? Lay it down. Lay it at the cross. Jesus paid your debt. There’s no need to hurt any longer. Jesus says His burden is light and He wants to carry yours for you. He’ll bury your sin beneath the depths of the ocean and forgive you no matter who you are or what you have done. All you have to do is accept His free gift! Don’t wait. Listen to God’s call in your heart. He loves you even if the world hates you. Nothing will ever change that. He loved you when He created the world, when He died for you more than 2,000 years ago, and today in your current state of sin. He sees you for who you really are. And He still loves you like crazy.
Society pressures people to be perfect, look perfect, act perfect, and dress perfect. YOU’LL NEVER BE PERFECT here on this earth! We all mess up and fail. We all struggle and have issues. You’ll never be good enough to get to Heaven. But the gospel, the good news, is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE. Jesus is perfect in your place. He loves you unconditionally and gives you grace.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are WEAK, but HE IS STRONG.
Yes Jesus loves you, yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves us, the Bible tells us so.
The Bible is God’s love letter to you. Read it and learn what it says about our words. There are far too many verses on the tongue and our words for me to write here. I could never list them all. But I will encourage you to go study it out for yourself. God calls us to love people and to speak life.
The most important commandment (Paraphrased Matthew 22:37-39 KJV)- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.
Seek Adventure AND BE KIND,