Sticks and Stones
“Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” This old saying I first heard in elementary school is not at all true. Words do make a difference. They affect us, greatly. Our thoughts are made up of words. Thoughts reflect our feelings. Thoughts and feelings combined make up our character, that is who we are as human beings, as individuals. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Our thoughts become who we are and how we live our lives. And thoughts are made up of words. Obviously, God knows that, so He became the Word. Jesus was called the “Word” and He became flesh, to communicate His words to us. His words could then shape our thoughts, which would change our lives. Words make a huge difference—they change things. They change us.
I experienced that personally and dramatically as a young adult in my mid 20s. A pastor was talking to a group about the power of God’s word to make a difference. My life had not been going so well and I had come to a seminar seeking to make it better. What I had heard changed the whole trajectory of my life and continues to this day. It was words that did that, but not just anyone’s word. It was words from God that did it. I can still hear the speaker’s voice as he read Jeremiah 23:29: “‘Is not My word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’” The speaker described the power of God’s word to change lives, to change hearts and feelings. I needed that. Mine wasn’t doing so well. He used other scriptures about the power of God’s word, many of which you know. I made a decision that moment to begin to test that. I began to read, morning by morning, words from the Bible that did change my thinking and my heart. Jesus, the Word, spoke His words into my mind and heart and they changed my thoughts and feelings. They changed who I was, what I did and where I was headed. I continue to this day to listen to words spoken directly from God to shape my thoughts and life direction.
Some of the next words that I heard from Jesus are very familiar to all of us. They are found in Matthew 6:33, which says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I realized that God wants to simplify our lives. If we will make it our first priority to seek His Words and wisdom and His way, our entire life will be cared for, all of our needs met, and it will bring happiness and joy. What an amazing thought. Almost too good to be true, but it is. Today’s world is all about communication. We hear words and messages on email, text, phone, Twitter, Instagram, TV, radio, Internet and movies. They can be good, bad, or neutral. But there is one guaranteed Source of words, from the real Word which can totally change our reality for the good. It is that powerful and true. Why not this year go to the Source and keep feeding on the words that bring life and peace, rest and joy? Words do make a difference.
By James Shires, President