Hurtful words really hurt. I suppose they don’t, if you’re so hard-hearted that they can’t penetrate, but for most of us (even though we may pretend sometimes) that isn’t true.
Why? Why do they hurt? Because they mean something. In one sense, a left-hook to the nose doesn’t hurt as much as a verbal jab. Why? Because a punch communicates one thing: “I want to hit you.” Not much else other than untranslated anger. And a punch can’t be misunderstood. I can’t punch one thing when I’m angry, and then say I didn’t mean it, because there was nothing to mean, except that I was angry and wanting to hurt.
But I can say all sorts of mean and nasty things out of my anger, and it will probably stick with the person that those words are directed towards for longer than I imagine. I can lie, and make myself out to be an even bigger jerk than I am, and exaggerate my anger into hatred. But what makes those lies hurt is that they are believable. They have a grain of truth or at least “that-could-be-the-truth” to them. Such insidious and foul behavior, and I am guilty of it too.
Not that one is to be preferred really, over the other, physical violence to mean words. But we say a lot of things we don’t mean when we get out of control of our mouths. I, with my lack of upper body strength, probably couldn’t break too many noses in a complete rage, but I know I could really hurt people with my words.
The very idea that I am capable of such damaging words (not to mention that I’ve used them), is a shocking and sad thing. What’s more, that every one of the 6,000,000,000 people on the earth is capable of such words… that’s even sadder somehow.
May we bite our tongue before saying such things, and better still, may God change us so that those things don’t come to our lips, and better still, don’t come into our minds.