Sticks and Stones
by Bill Martin
You know the old saying, ?you are what you eat.?
Well you are what you speak as well.
Words have meaning and words give you meaning.
I?m sure you also know the old children?s rhyme:
?Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," is
certainly not true. Words can and do often hurt very deeply.
That?s why it?s so important to use the right words.
You used the right words for your own salvation because in Romans 10:10
we read ?For
it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by
confessing with your mouth that you are saved.? Your heart and your
mouth and tied together. They are
critical for your own salvation.
I have been recently counseling someone who?s suffered
for years from the pain of someone yelling, "You?re not good
enough", or "It's no
use". This person has not been
in a church for two decades, burn out from spousal attacks and little or no
support for the church. You may be in a similar situation or know of someone
who?s being verbally abused or using verbally abusive language.
Nothing could be farther from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 12:35 says it plainly enough, ?A good person produces good
words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil
Words are the building blocks for what we are. It is our
responsibility to weed the unproductive thoughts and fill ourselves with sound
positively. I can?t begin to tell you the number of people at work who show up
with what I call a demonic attitude. Their language filled with anger, hate and
gossip. Quite frankly, if I may use the word, I hate being near them. Psalms 45:7
?you love what is right and hate what is
Luke 11:28 He replied, "But
even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into
practice." It?s all
about hearing, saying and then doing.
We need to be encouragers. Becoming an encourager doesn?t
simply mean speaking in flowery language but offering respectful and prayerful
In Hebrews (10:23-24) Paul writes ?Without wavering, let us hold
tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good
Yes, outbursts of love and good deeds rather than outbursts
of foul language and hate speech. I?ve learned to be confident of God?s love
and understand that unsuitable and even hurtful comments should be lovingly but
firmly ignored. When I hear the
negative speech and the gossip my instinct now is to run.
I at least put on my headphones and listen to some good music.
We recently went through very difficult union contract
negotiations at the station. All of
the on-air people belong to the national union, The American Federation of
Television and Radio Artists. Some
believe the union has no place in this day and age, others disagree.
It was easy to see the feelings on both sides very intense.
While some did stray from polite behavior, I always pushed for both sides
to be respectful and godly and they were.
The bottom line is this, Romans 1:12 ?I'm eager to encourage you in your
faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will
be a blessing to the other.?
Lets be a blessing to each other. If we blow-it then lets apologize.
Galatians 6:1 ?Dear
brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are
godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.?
Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.