Our words can crush a person’s spirit, and they can leave people feeling hurt and hopeless.
For example, a middle-aged man had been fighting depression for most of his adult life. Several psychiatrists had agreed that the root problem was chemical and needed to be treated with anti-depressant medications for the rest of his life.
Finally it was discovered through counseling that the man’s father, who was a self made millionaire, repeatedly said to him, “Son I suspect when you take over the family business you will destroy it.” These words stung more painfully each time he heard them.
When his father died, the man felt driven to work unrealistic hours to prove his father wrong. The pressure that relentlessly gnawed at him was quieted only by alcohol. Soon a serious drinking problem developed. His wife threatened to leave him. Finally he succumbed to ongoing depression for which he could find relief only in drugs.
His life was devastated by the power of his father’s tongue. Words have great power. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.
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