For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Words-Hurt or Heal

Proverbs 16:23-24
The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,

    and their lips promote instruction.
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Too many times, as I wandered the aisles of a grocery store, I overheard a parent reprimanding a child with belittling, thoughtless, hurtful words. My heart broke for that child. Yes, a parent needs to discipline, but wise instruction that redirects the little one teaches them without tearing them down. How I speak affects the people who hear me. I even need to choose the words I write with wisdom.

Words have the power to hurt. But, they also have the ability to heal. How I say something is as important as what I say. The proverb tells me that words come from the heart. If my heart’s troubled, I need to step back and spend time with God as I sort through what troubles me and makes my words caustic. Even a pause, prayer and deep breath help.

My friend Debbie shared words of wisdom from Godvine:

T ~ is it true?
H ~ is it helpful?
I ~ is it inspiring?
N ~ is it Necessary?
K ~ is it kind?

Before I open my mouth, I want to remember to check myself. Am I speaking with encouragement and concern, the way God wants me to?


  1. Penny,
    I love this proverb, it's on my home page for my website! And so true how our words affect others whether speaking or writing.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia. This is something I need to remind myself of everyday.

  2. Thanks so much for this great acronym, Penny. I will make it a part of my daily life. You are right about words. They are containers of either life or death. One of my favorite Scripture verses is Proverbs 18:21: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." May our tongues always speak life!


    A Powerful Story of Forgiveness
    Harbourlight Books-2012

    1. That's a great verse, too and reminder of how our words can hurt. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am a grumble crunch New Yorker from the wilds of the Big Apple. I have been guilty of being harsh with my children.

    Now to clarify. We adopted three hard to place children from foster care at ages 6,7, 9. One of them with a lable of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. All three with PTSD. So, we were often bombarded by antisocial behavior.

    Thank God for repentance...for me that is. For me to repent. PTL

    1. Yes, thank God for repentance. And thank goodness for people like you who choose to love children who need you. I worked with children who had similar labels and it was not easy. Bless your heart for bringing those three children into your home.

  4. Oh, Penny, I love this. So often it's easy to criticize children or others for actions we are guilty of, but I've found the closer I get to God, the easier it is for me to be more gentle and understanding. Thanks for the great reminder!