Words Hurt or Heal

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24


Words are powerful. The words you speak can give life or kill spirits.

When I was in elementary school, I grew taller than all my classmates. By the time I was in the sixth grade, I was taller than my teacher. In school photographs, I stand a foot taller than my friends. My extra height made me a target of teasing. I was called “skyscraper,” “giant,” and list of other names that made me feel like something was wrong with me. Sticks and stones and words hurt.

In preparing for these 21 days, I read an article reporting that our emotional state is changed just by reading negative words. Imagine the damage done by speaking negative words. There is also psychology research that shows you must say (or hear) at least five positive words to negate just one negative word you say (or hear).

God has made us to respond to words of love and encouragement. His Word is filled with love and encouragement from cover to cover. His words give us life and our words, through Him, can do the same.

Scripture also tells us to encourage one another. Paul, as he closes his second letter to the Corinthians, reminds them, and us, to rejoice, be united, support one another, and to live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with us (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV). We should use our words to rejoice and encourage one another. Not tear down with words of anger and insult.

What if today you began to say only positive, sweet words to your husband, your children, your co-workers? Our focus scripture today tells us that gracious and kind words are sweet and heal the bones, maybe the bones broken by harsh words.

Today, tell someone five things that make them special to you. Today they may need to know. You would have to the power to change their day. Today, get out your bible and read scripture that tells you how loved you are by God, that you are His child. You will be changed.

We should also use our words to give thanks. Words of gratitude are also sweet to God’s ear as well. Today, turn from speaking harsh words to others and speak thankfulness to God. Thank Him that you are His, that because He loved us first, we can love others.


Father God, we are thankful for the sweet words you gave us in your Word. Give us an awareness of the words we speak and use us today to speak kindness and love to others. Guard our words that they would not be harsh but words of encouragement.

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