Friday, March 22, 2024

Devotionals for the Heart: How our words can hurt or heal people

We  Can Partner with God to Administer Healing to a Hurting World
A devotional by Essie Faye Taylor

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”—Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)

Our society has a saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This is one of the deepest lies ever told. Words hurt. Many times words hurt more deeply than any physical abrasion. As a 41 year old woman, I still vividly remember words spoken to me as a 5 year old. Those words, both positive and negative, still impact me today. They’ve impacted my self-perception, self-talk, and self-esteem for years. I know I’m not alone. This is why it’s so important for us to speak to ourselves and others with kind and loving words.

Let us be careful with our words. We can choose whether to bless or curse others with our words. Scripture declares, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV). Words become thoughts. Thoughts become actions and actions become habits. Habits reap a destiny. We have the power to alter our destiny and that of others with our words. Proverbs 12:18 emphasizes the lasting impact of the words we speak.

We can harm ourselves and others with our words. Rash words or words spoken without much thought and in haste have the power to fatally harm others. Sword thrusts cut deep with evident harmful consequences. When a sword is thrust and makes contact with flesh it rips the skin and pierces internal organs. Damage is immediate and undeniable. In some cases the damage is beyond repairable. And so it is with hurtful words. Their impact may persist for months and even years. Harmful words can even be passed from generation to generation, if not corrected.

We can heal ourselves and others with words. The writer clearly states that wise words bring healing. A word of encouragement or a kind compliment is like a balm to the hurting. Because we are created in the likeness of the Almighty God, who spoke and created the universe, we create with words. We can create healing and safe spaces with our words spoken in wisdom. We can create the change that we want to see in this world. 

Call to Action:

1. Acknowledge that the words you speak are living and have a lasting impact–good or bad.

2. Own your power to speak all things positive to yourself and others.

3. Commit to become a vessel of life and healing to yourself and others.

4. Remember, healing belongs to God’s children and we work together with God to administer healing to ourselves and others (Mark 7:27).

Remember: We can create our world with affirmations and declarations of peace, safety, and provision. God has empowered us to do so. 

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, You are the Lord our God who heals us. You are the Healer. Yet, you have called us into partnership in order to heal the world. Help us to acknowledge the power of our words. Help us to guard our tongues and to pursue peace. Help us not to use rash and hurtful words, but instead to use wise words with intention to administer healing to this hurting world. Lord, lead us into spaces of health and healing and walk alongside us as we heal by the stripes of Jesus Christ. Give us grace as we heal spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. We thank You for it. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Words” by Hawk Nelson. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Essie Faye Taylor is a woman of faith. She’s a bilingual author, educator, speaker, psalmist, and interpreter. 

Essie is the author of the “Finding the Love You Deserve” series for women and teens. She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to heal themselves, love and accept themselves, and pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. 

Essie is a Chicago native where she lives with her husband Donald Taylor II.

Connect with Essie:
Amazon Author Page:
Listen to Essie’s music at
Instagram: on Instagram
Read Essie’s YouVersion Devotion Plan here:

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