And When I Speak…


And When I Speak

“Sticks and stone will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

How many of us have been told this as a comfort when our feelings HAVE been hurt by someone’s words to us or about us? This old saying is probably the worst advice you have been given or have imparted on someone else.

You know that list of things that you will not say to your children…

  • If you don’t stop crying, I will give you something to cry about.
  • Don’t make me pull this car over.
  • Kid: I’m _______ (hungry, sleeping, etc). Parent: Hi, I’m Friday, come over Saturday and we’ll have a Sunday!
  • Kid: my ______ hurts….Parent: Does your face hurt? Cause it’s killing me! Hahaha
  • Sticks and stone will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Oh yeah, crossed off the ones I have already used…but,

Seriously do not tell anyone the last one! It’s not true! Words are the most powerful thing we have. Proverbs 18:21a is a truth I try to keep in mind all the time: “The tongue has the power of life and death!” This is much more accurate. What we say matters and (an ode to my mother–) how we say it matters too!

My words, our words, have the power to build others up or to tear them down. For many years I thought I had the right to say whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, to whomever I wanted! A lot of the time what I said was true, honest, and UNNECESSARY. For real, it isn’t always about truth but necessity. Say what needs to be said but leave the rest at rest. No one likes a loud mouth, a negative Nancy, a rude Ruby, a know- it-all Nelly, a…… b!+@#. ‘Cause take off the mask, no matter what fancy name we call it, the last one is the uncovered truth! (Aww shoot this is just what I am supposed to be working on.)

It has taken me a lot of years to realize that right and wrong is not always the best gage for silence and spoken. Discernment is necessary. I am someone who is not easily offended and yet I seem to easily offend others. And the culprit really isn’t (and wasn’t) my heart; it is (and was) my words.

I have a heart, really I do! Good news is I relate well with the Grinch and mine has grown three sizes (one with the birth of each of my children). My heart has never been wicked. I do not set out to destroy others with my words, and yet that is exactly what I was doing. So I adopted the old saying “Silence is Golden” and retired “Stick and Stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

I am quieter now. For me and my self-reformation… Silence IS golden. I am talking much, much less these days. It’s being noticed and my response as to why is just simply, Self-reform. I am reforming myself to be quieter and I am choosing my words more wisely. It is less offensive. It causes much less stress. It avoids conflicts. It gives me time to listen. It creates humility and allows me to muse, strategize, and speak with intention.


I do so with grace and dignity. A softness. A direction without ambiguity. I do still speak truthfully but with tact, poise, love and respect. I am also giving another oldie a shot: The Golden Rule! I am trying to speak to others the way I would like to be spoken to. The way I would want them to speak to my husband. The way I would want them to speak to my kids. The way I want them to speak to me!

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

So this is me: quieter, yes. AND WHEN I SPEAK I am more intentional with my words. So here is my challenge: Silence yourself when what you have to say can wait, or maybe shouldn’t be said at all. AND WHEN YOU SPEAK, do so with grace and dignity.

Read Part 1: Silence Is GoldenSilenceIsGolden 


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