That’s a little provocative, as blog posts go when you tend to talk about the Bible. Which proverb am I talking about? The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is Proverbs 1:20-33, am I singling one of those out? As a matter of fact, I am not.
Proverbs are found all over the place, not just in the Bible. We frequently think they are true, when we understand them. “A stitch in time saves nine” is virtually incomprehensible to most of us but we can still get the gist of it. The proverb I want to talk about, and upon which I’m about to throw shade, is “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words [names] will never hurt me.” This is absolute nonsense.
If words and/or names didn’t hurt us we wouldn’t have or need this proverb. If this is true, it is about as useful a proverb as “a rolling stone gather the early bird.” We don’t make proverbs about things that are obvious, so it is obviously based on the notion that words can hurt, at least sometimes. As I said this morning, no bruise or worse, I got fifty years ago has any effect on me at all but some of the words I heard then most certainly do. Our words have the most profound potential for causing pain and suffering or healing and care.
The book of James talks about our words and suggests the tongue, our words, are like a fire and worse. What I was trying to grapple with is what do we with this information? James doesn’t tell us how to keep our tongues in check. I did come up with some suggestions you may find helpful, let me know how I did.
PS The links look a bit different this week as for some reason mp3 files are considered a security risk. I’ll see if I can get that fixed up.