Children often learn the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” As we grow up, we discover that this simply isn’t true. Words can hurt deeply.
Proverbs 18:14 shows the contrast between the hurts of the body and the hurts of the soul. “The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but as for a broken spirit who can bear it?” In other words, the physical illness of the body is tolerable. We can get over it. But, when the spirit has been broken, it’s a different story. It is very difficult to overcome.
Sticks and stones can break the bones. And names can hurt the soul. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Let us choose our words carefully.