Words can hurt, but give comfort at st Johns Presbyterian ChurchYou know the old saying isn’t true: Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me! The truth is that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may break my heart, take the gleam out of my eye, the pep out of my step, the heart out of my soul.

Words are powerful. We read in the book of James (in the Message Version), “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it!”

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul puts it this way, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”

Today, may you be intentional in using your words to build up, to encourage and to give grace.

Let us pray: O Lord God, we have said some things we wished we hadn’t. We all know first-hand the pain that words can cause, and the pain of words withheld or used carelessly. I pray that today you would heal any old wounds we carry, but then move us to place where we are more content to listen than to speak. Remind us of the value and the grace that are given in a listening ear. Thank you for listening to us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Photograph by Adam Jang