Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words.
Psalm 64:3 (NKJV)
Picture this. Carrying a bow and some arrows, you walk into a room full of people. You then start shooting arrows all over the room. Some of those arrows hit the wall. Some hit the furniture. But some hit the other people. You look over to see one of those arrows sticking out of the chest of your spouse. You cry out that you didn’t mean to. You were just shooting around and weren’t planning on hitting anyone. But you did. And now they’re badly hurt. That arrow is out there and you can’t bring it back.
Your words can be like those arrows in that they can be devastating. People are hurt by words that are thoughtlessly spoken as much as words that are said with the intent to harm. And like those arrows, you can’t take them back. They’re already out there. Those wounds can take a long time to heal. Many people are still hurting from words that were said years earlier.