Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

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.”

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

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.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

“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 compassionpinterest@gmail.com to be added as a contributor.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    Jenny Crouch June 11, 2016

    We are so proud of you!
    God loves you and has a good plan for you.

  2. Avatar
    Macy Ford May 20, 2016

    “You are a warrior of a King who has already won the war. He cannot be defeated, and he won’t let you be defeated either. Be brave, young prince!”
    I love telling this to all the sponsor children I have contact with ❤️ It was a wonderful realization that I have that has brought me strength many times, and I love telling my little boys also.

    1. Avatar
      Yvonne Reynolds May 24, 2016

      Macy, thank you for sharing this with us! I am sure the children you sponsor love to hear words like this to encourage them to be brave.

  3. Avatar
    J.Joshua Kono May 13, 2016

    “It was not by machineguns and tanks that Hitler had come to power”, once said my mentor, “but by harsh invectives and diatribes”.
    The words DO have power both to heal and kill, to edify and to demolish.
    I had a revelation once and I will never be the same since then: as sponsors of children through Compassion, we are, indeed, investing a little bit of ourselves in the eternity of these precious little souls through our generosity as well as our words of encouragement.
    And as we take advantage of an opportunity to meet them in person, those words with which we have encouraged them will become a real message of love and hope.
    Just as Jesus, our Supreme Word of God, “became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us”,
    I, too, will make my own words more tangible from now on to whomever I will come to know in days to come.
    Endowed with our own free will, we can make our word “flesh” in our own fashion, whether for good or evil.

  4. Avatar
    Jen Napier May 13, 2016

    You are a blessing to me!

    1. Avatar
      Yvonne Reynolds May 16, 2016

      The kids we sponsor certainly are a blessing to us! And that is something we can share with them in letters we write to them.

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