Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Really? Let's not kid ourselves. Words are potent. Words start with God, who spoke galaxies into being. "God said . . . and there was" (Gen. 1:3). God's words have impact (Isa. 55:11); are living, active, and sharp (Heb. 4:12); illuminate dark places (Ps. 119:105); nourish souls (Matt. 4:4); and defeat death (Luke 11:43). The words of the gospel are "the power of God."
To a lesser but significant degree, our words have power also. Our words transfer ideas. They can heal. And they can "hurt me." I will never forget Mariah Carey saying in an interview that for her, one criticism will instantly overrule a thousand praises. There is something to this.