Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard this rhyme growing up or even said it. As children, we were taught to ignore the kids who said hurtful things to us on the playground. Even if we were successful at ignoring the bully, we never forgot the words.
“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” – James 3:7-10
Every person knows that deep down, hurtful words DO hurt. As a parent, I have heard it said over and over that for every negative thing I’ve ever said to my children, it needs to be countered with five to ten positive things.
We should change the rhyme to: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always help me.”
It is common for children growing up in extreme poverty to believe that they don’t matter. More times than not, they don’t hear those 10 positive things to counter the negative they hear each and every day.
But that is where we, as sponsors, come in. We are supporting a local church where the children get to be known, loved and protected – where they get to hear that they DO matter. We also get to amplify that message and up the tally of positive words they hear through our letters.
- We have the opportunity to be a listening ear from afar in the letters we receive.
- We have the opportunity to love them without conditions.
- We have the opportunity to pour into them the truth that God loves them.
- We have the opportunity to encourage them in each and every letter we write.
Many of our Second Friday Letter Writing Club blog posts have been about sharing paper crafts we have been able to mail in the past to the students we sponsor. This month, we want to change things up a bit and focus on the positive words we write. Here are a few rays of sunshine that I’m going to be adding in my letters this month.
“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States
What do you believe for the youth you sponsor? Think of what you know of them from their home life, family, hobbies and school. How can you encourage their value in those areas? If you’re a new sponsor, how can you use scripture to encourage their worth?
Now, share in one or two sentences in a comment below what you want to say to the student you sponsor. We’ll take your encouraging words, turn them into a quote image like the ones above to post on our Second Friday Letter Writing Club board on Pinterest as a way to inspire other sponsors to use the power of words in their letters!
Join our Second Friday Letter Writing Club on Pinterest to see and share more words of encouragement for a #compassionletter. Be sure to follow us on Pinterest and then send an email to [email protected] to be added as a contributor.