March 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Is that old child’s adage true? Can words never hurt us? You know they can. Words can wound our souls and leave scars that often last a lifetime. The Bible says, “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9) and “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). The bottom line is words, like stones, can wound, hurt, and even destroy. So what is the opposite? What are words which heal, edify, and nurture? Here are 7 healing phrases to use with your spouse, friend, or child:

1.      “I believe in you.”This phrase inspires confidence in the hearer. The fact that you believe in him or her means a lot. It’s not simply belief in what you’re doing or what’s being said about you; it’s belief in YOU as a person.

2.      “Will you forgive me?”There is nothing more healing to the soul than forgiveness. When we have wronged someone and humble ourselves to ask for their forgiveness we can heal a wounded relationship. Does it take humility to ask someone to forgive you? You bet but the Bible tells us that God gives grace to the humble and exalts them at the right time (1 Peter 5:5, 6).

3.      “I’ll go first.”This phrase is all about taking the lead and, in turn, taking the risks involved. When you and I declare, “I’ll go first,” we are saying, I’ll take the risks to step out into the unknown. You can take your cues from what happens to me. Peter did this when he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-33).

4.      “It’s okay not to be okay.”This healing phrase is declaring, “You don’t have to be perfect! You don’t have to be 100%.” God accepts imperfect people, sinners, so should we. This phrase is about accepting people right where they are and not expecting them to be where we are.

5.      “We’re in this together.”How great is this phrase? It is saying, “We are a team. What happens to you happens to me.” If we sink, we both sink. If we swim, we both swim. It’s you and me together. Elsie and I have a marriage motto that declares, “Together forever, never to sever.” We are one, just like the Bible says.

6.      “I truly love you.”Does anybody get tired of hearing that they are loved? Not just loved but truly loved. This is love from the heart that says, “Out of all the people in the world I choose to love you.” Wow!

7.      “You matter to me.”Perhaps others don’t acknowledge you and how special you are but I do. The fact that someone matters to you means they are important to you. A pastor summarized Luke 15, “the lost chapter” by saying, “People matter to God.” He’s right, isn’t he? People do matter to God, so much so that He sent His one and only Son to die for them so that all who believe could be with Him forever. You matter to God and you matter to me.

Be careful what you say for words can wound or heal,