Whoever said “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” was lying.

Did you ever quote that as a kid? I sure did. But of course I only said it because my feelings were being hurt and I didn’t want anyone to have the satisfaction of seeing my pain.

The wrong word from a friend or family member can cut to the heart. It’s our family who know us best—and can hurt us the most. They know the secrets we carry, the quirks we have, and they know how to use them at just the right moment to put us in our place.

Words can hurt us more than a broken bone. Bones heal, but a wounded soul often goes unseen and unhealed when wounded by words.

Like apples of gold in settings of silver, Is a word spoken in right circumstances.” – Proverbs 25:11

Words matter.

The wise counselor knows the power of the right word for the wounded heart. When we use our words to bless and encourage, we are doing more than just being nice—we are releasing life to another soul. A kind word is like rich food served up for our wellbeing.

Consider those in your family, or work: How are you speaking to them? Are your words toxic, or do they give life to the soul? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you speak life-giving words to those you know and meet. Even a simple, but sincere, “thank you” to the grocery clerk next time you finish your shopping.

Spread kindness with your words.

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” – Proverbs 6:24

Gwen Gibson serves as the Pastor for the HOPE CENTER—the place at HRock where we encourage and offer hope for those struggling through the tough places of life. It is her joy to help others discover the freedom they long for and know how much they are loved by God.