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Articles > Recovery: > Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

"Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out."1

As kids, if we were called names we used to retort in reply: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Unfortunately this is far from the truth. Name calling can hurt a whole lot more than sticks or stones. 

I can still recall as an insecure youth how a girl I was dating at the time told me that while there was nothing wrong with my features, I was ugly. Unfortunately for me I believed her. True, it was because of my already feeling insecure that I believed her. Nevertheless it took me many years to overcome that painful remark. This is one reason I wrote the following poem a few years ago:

    Unsung Songs

    How many songs never sung,
    poems never written,
    pictures never painted,
    risks never taken,
    bridges never crossed,
    romantic words never spoken...
    locked inside a lonely heart
    the prison of another's making...
    are left unexpressed
    because somebody
    shamed us, abandoned us,
    or perhaps silenced us
    with a cruel word,
    a thoughtless deed,
    and said or just implied
    we were not good enough,
    and tragically
    we believed them?
    Let this be the moment
    we choose to believe them no more...
    and sing, sing, sing.2

                        – Dick Innes
                          © Copyright

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me never to speak a cruel word to anyone and even when I need to disagree, help me always to speak the truth in love—never in bitterness or hostility. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Colossians 4:6 (The Message).
2. See:


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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