The old nursery rhyme is a lie: "Sticks and stones may break by my bones but words will never hurt me."
We know the truth. More of us are hurt, wounded, maimed and killed by words than by sticks and stones.
Words can kill. They can be just as lethal or harmful as a gunman's bullets. Aren't most of us living our lives with old wounds, many unhealed, from words said to us or about us on the playground or in the lunchroom or by people we loved? Have we not used words as weapons intending to hurt the person we love because we are mad at them? We might regret using the words later and even apologize, but both the speaker and the listener are now damaged.
Words have power. Have you noticed that the Bible begins with God speaking? God's speech creates the universe. Words have substance. Words create worlds. Words of power are not just for God. We are created in God's image. We can speak. Our speech creates. Everything changes when a child says his or her first word. They define their world by the words they create. My son's first words were "Dad," "Mom," "God" and "IHOP." The universe in four words!