Like a war club, a sword, or a sharp arrow
is one who bears false witness against a neighbor.
“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I was taught something along these lines as a child to help me deal with the harsh words that would be hurled at me in life. I guess it was an attempt to keep insults in context, but it almost trivializes the destructive power of words.
Not so with this Proverb. The ones who “bears false witness” against their neighbor (slander, lies, gossip, and the like) aren’t just assaulting them with little sticks and pebbles. With our words we can actually attack others with things like clubs, swords, and sharp arrows. That’s the level of violence our mouths can cause. Think about that before you unleash your tongue today.
God, whenever I am ready to turn loose on someone with my mouth, remind me that I can use this instrument to help or hurt them. Let me always SWJWS (Say What Jesus Would Say.) In His name I pray. Amen.