What’s the Word? Scorpions


Sometimes I sting. I don’t mean to, but I do. Like a scorpion, I react to perceived threats – to my well-being, my reputation, my happiness, my comfort – with venom.

Scorpions have two kinds of venom: the kind that stuns and the kind that kills prey. This is because they use their venom for different reasons. The weaker venom, which is intended to ward off would-be threats, takes much less energy for the scorpion to make than the venom that can kill whatever the scorpion wants to eat. And it’s intuitive for the scorpion to use just the right amount for any given situation.

My sting is far less discriminating.

Unchecked, the venom of a reactionary sting from the tongue of a human being can effectively destroy family relationships, business partnerships, and all social interaction.

A proverb states that the tongue has the power of life and death. Not literally, of course. But I have seen firsthand the wounds that careless words can cause. I’ve seen a moment that was lighthearted and humorous turn ugly and painful with just one hasty, imprudent phrase.

Because I sting, I’ve developed a fairly effective antivenin over the years. It’s called an apology. Its effectiveness varies with each victim, but my research and laboratory experiments have produced results over time. However, prevention is still preferable.

Do you ever sting? How do you protect others from the venom of your words?

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  • Renee

    A sincere apology can change everything. It seems so simple but always the case when egos are involved. “Check yourself before you wreck yourself!” 😉

    • Wordspark

      I’m stealing that quote, Renee!

  • colleen

    Great Blog Jenni Butz. So important to remember our words and what we say. I am constantly praying that only God’s words come out of my mouth. Ugh..this is a hard one!

  • Julianna Kirschenman

    My sting usually comes disguised in the form of humor…so I can have a ready excuse, just joking vs. I’m sorry, and I’m not seen as a mean person. Neither is a remedy to take away the hurt caused, but the apology at least acknowledges to the person I hurt that I take responsibility and have remorse. The stinging words come from a deep, dark place inside of me and if I don’t deal with that, I will not be able to protect others.