Words Do Hurt
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Way back in 1862, this first appeared as a children’s rhyme. That’s right; over 150 years ago, kids were saying mean things to each other and the one being picked on tried to come up with a way to let the others know that it wasn’t going to bug him.
When I was a kid (not 140 years ago), we’d bust out the phrase, “I’m rubber; you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”
Each of those phrases is wrong, isn’t it? Words do hurt. We just pretend they don’t. Nobody likes to hear, “Nobody likes a know-it-all.” Or “We don’t want you to play with us at recess.”
God knows that your heart will hurt because of other people. So he wants you to be part of a group that makes a difference. “Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you” (Ephesians 4:29).
You can practice building people up now: “Thanks for being a great friend.” “Would you like some help with your homework?” “Hey, are you okay? Want to talk?” “That was really nice. Thanks!”
Dear Jesus, sometimes I say things that aren't very nice or helpful. Please forgive me for those times and help me encourage others instead. Amen.