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The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. - Proverbs 12:18

Reflect

Whoever started the childhood chant-- "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"--lied. Plain and simple. Words may seem itty bitty as they escape from our lips, but they have the power to make us cringe and cry and crumble into pieces. Pieces that may never come back together again the way they were meant to be.

Words can destroy a reputation and break a tender (or no-so-tender) heart. Words can create and untold ripple effect of misery. Our words can grieve the Holy Spirit. Surely there is a better way to live. There is. It's with the power of the Holy Spirit. From the Psalms comes a wonderful daily heart-prayer: "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 NIV).

Our words can heal, comfort, challenge, encourage, and inspire. It's our choice, every minute of every day, which kind of words we will use--those that heal or those that hurt. Let us always speak truth, yes, but let us do it with tenderness. Not with a mind-set that feeds our egos, but with a caring spirit that pleases God.

Pray

Holy Spirit, guide me in my thoughts, and may my words be healing to all I meet. Amen.

Your turn

Why are our words so powerful?

Why is it so important to share the truth with tenderness?

Have your words ever discouraged another? What was the end result?