I'm amazed at the power words have.
I have a bruise on my leg right now. I huge one, from bumping into the footboard of my bed, as I so often do. When I bumped into the bed, it hurt. Bad enough for me to think a bad word. But I gritted my teeth and kept on folding laundry. Now there is a mark, but it doesn't really hurt anymore. It was fleeting.
Words aren't like that. Words sink into some deep part of our brains and make themselves at home. I have entire little communities up there: some powerful and good, while others are life sucking and demeaning.
"The tongue has the power of life and death..." (Proverbs 18:21)
Words are a big part of my life because I'm a writer and I teach writing. I think in words. I dream of words. The Lord speaks literal "WORDS!" to me. I try to weigh my words carefully.
But I find I get wounded most by words also. Tonight I felt hated by some words that a loved one used toward me. I felt completely misunderstood as a person. I don't think this person knows me at all. I was wounded. The word that keeps coming to me in retrospect is: hate. Their words and thoughts toward me wounded me for so many reasons.
But they just used words. This person didn't hit me, or destroy my property. They didn't physically harm me in any way. Somehow I wish they would have, because a little Neosporin and some ice can cure a scrape or a bruise, but these words have now taken up residence in my mind. Now I have to fight. I have to fight the lies that were placed there. I have to fight in prayer that God will bring reconciliation and truth. I have to fight down my emotion, knowing that this person is deceived and that I don't war against them, but against Satan himself.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
And it makes me think about my words. How carelessly I can speak them. How carelessly most of us do. And maybe we don't really mean them as strongly as we may say them. But the wounds they leave are deeper than a punch in the face.