Sticks and Stones: The Power of Words
Who do you give “authority” to?
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Above is one of the most popular childhood rhymes that needs a little dissecting, because most of us have been corrupted, damaged, and lived a life of pain because of the words of others, words spoken by those we gave and still give “authority” to.
People speak and act according to how they are not according to the object of their words and actions. Yet, far too often we’ve internalized the damaging words and actions of others. And God wants to free us.
There are many forms of this truth, but let’s take someone lashing out at another. When someone delivers a verbal barrage of negativity, it’s about them not the recipient. The problem is most people own other people’s words when it aligns with concepts spoken to them in the past by “authorities”. When someone lashes out then the recipient thinks something is wrong with them or it’s about them, when the painful delivery has nothing to do with them. How a person acts is all about them; not the recipient. But if their actions and words line up with what an authority figure in their lives spoke, especially a parent or an influential figure of their childhood, they will believe it and internalize the other’s baggage making it a part of who they are.
For example, if someone lost the car keys … I could call them an idiot for being so careless, or not even say a word but in my mind think what an idiot for being so careless. Either way, they would feel the condemnation because people respond to what we give off, not just our words. Matt 5:28 OR I would know we all do forgetful things, help them find the keys, and develop a strategy so they won’t lose them in the future. Consider the impact of the two responses on the recipient. The first would probably make them feel bad about themselves because most people incorrectly own others negative reactions toward them, especially if it was in line with what an authority figure said. The second would be uplifting and helpful.
The greatest impact of this dynamic is with children, which we all were at one point so consider what “baggage” you’ve owned from others. With children, the parents usually have the greatest authority in their lives, what they say the children believe without question and own it as their truth. Whatever they say, the children believe and manifest in their lives. If the parents said they were a loser, then that is how they will grow up unless or until they have a higher authority tell them differently at some point. This is just what children do, they believe their parents. Children don’t have the experience to realize that how their parents speak to them is about them and not the child. They don’t have a more powerful authority in their lives to tell them otherwise. Calling a child a loser has nothing to do with himself, and everything about the parent, which at one time it had nothing to do with that parent until he heard it from his parents and so on. This is an example of how sin spreads like cancer, because most people own other people’s baggage. 2 Timothy 2:17
You see how lies are passed along. How faulty frameworks about who we are formed. We all grow up with lies by owning others’ baggage. Lies make a train wreck of our lives, but Christ came to rewrite our lives and who we are. He came to show us who we truly are; beautiful, bountiful, blissful, boundless, bold, beloved, and blessed. What we believe we manifest. Many are manifesting the pain of others because they took ownership of their pain by believing their words. Christ came to set us free. John 8:32
As we mature spiritually, we realize that God is our authority, therefore we listen to what He says. When we do listen to Him, our framework changes and we learn that all the negativity spoken to us was about the speaker’s pain and baggage, and had nothing to do with us. If they were different and didn’t have their own bondage they would have never spoken that way to others. This understanding of their bondage is key to forgiveness and love that covers a multitude of sins.
Words are incredibly powerful when they come from someone we’ve given authority to. Who we give authority to dictates our life, because authority manifests belief. What we believe in we create as our reality. If we give someone authority, then we trust what they say and make their words are truth. Consider the authorities in your life, parents, doctors, PHDs, field experts, spouses, friends, political talking heads, and religious leaders. What kind of path have they led you on? This isn’t blaming, but taking responsibility for what we hold as truth and who we’ve placed as authorities in our lives who shouldn’t be.
If you still have misplaced authorities, it’s time to dethrone them. Psalm 1:1 THE authority in our lives should be God. Others can confirm what He tells you, but He should be THE authority – because He will speak ONLY truth to you. When He is your authority, you are on the path to tremendous freedom. Freedom from all others’ judgment, opinions, comments, and actions. Thus, freedom from others’ pain and bondage. Freedom from the lies. Freedom to be who you were created to be, someone magnificent because that is the kind of creator God is. Freedom to live a new life and a new reality. We are simply covered in the mud of lies so that is all we can see of ourselves. As mud washes off, God’s truth washes us clean. Putting people as authorities in our lives is putting our lives in the wrong hands. If you truly want to live free, then your authority must be God.
Consider Jesus did anyone alter what He thought and knew about who He was? No. He knew the Truth and His authority was God.
So as long as people are putting others in authority who shouldn’t be the lies spread generation to generation. Misplaced authority manifests false beliefs, and false beliefs manifest a life of suffering and bondage. Our beliefs determine our lives.
Instead of owning the baggage and lies of others, find your identity in Christ and respond with love. In love, tell them it’s not acceptable and look beyond the surface to that bound soul from which came such anger, bitterness, resentment, pain, self-pity, blame, criticalness, and judgment. They need deliverance too. They need love. We all do.