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Sticks and Stones

(Originally published by Nattie on March 24, 2004)
You know the old saying…”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And you know it isn’t true. Words have the power to hurt you.
I remember being called, “Fatty fatty 2×4,” when I was a kid. It hurt. It still hurts. Geez I wish I was that “fat” now. LOL! But I don’t think I’ve been called names like that since I was in grade school. Even in high school such juvenile behavior was beneath most kids. Then recently I’ve been called an assortment of names. They hurt even if there was no truth behind them. They were intended to wound and they did…a bit. Okay, they hurt a lot.


Then I started talking to God about it. It is sooo a God-thang that my Living Beyond Yourself study this week would be about love.
The last three days of the study have been about agape love which most of you probably know is the true God love, the unconditional love that we experience from our heavenly father. It is truly a heavenly love. We as humans aren’t capable of this love without help from the Father.
One verse that really stood out to me was this—A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. ~ Proverbs 19:11
Then one of the aspects of agape love discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 is patience. The Greek word for patient is makrothumia, which translated means “a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so.”
*sigh*
Okay, God, so what are you trying to tell me?
My first response when I got called a name was to go into defense mode. That is a normal human reaction, right? But is that what God wanted of me? No. There are very few instances when we are to defend ourselves except maybe in a court of law. Our actions and our character is to speak for us even then.
*sigh*
You mean I can’t call names back? I can’t feel self righteous?
No, my beloved.
Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. ~ Matthew 27:13-14
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. ~ Proverbs 15:18
I believe there is a time and place for “righteous” anger (see Mark 11:12-19), but this isn’t it. I believe there is a time and place to defend (see 1 Peter 3:15). This isn’t it.
So I only have two more things to say:
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words that intend to hurt can be healed only by the Master Physician—and by his wounds we are healed (Is. 53:5b).
Oh and…
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Gobble, gobble.
Copyright Natalie Rose York

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