Sticks and Stones?

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Aesop

We’ve all heard the chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!”  I don’t buy that, do you?  I think I may WANT to believe it, but have learned over the years…that words can be very hurtful.  In this chapter – “My Neighbor Has Been Beaten Up”, Coach doesn’t refer to the physically beating someone up, but he writes on verbal abuse – verbally beating someone up.

As I posted in The Best Welfare Program is a Job” Dr. John M. Perkinsstatistics show that the impact of words spoken before the age of 3 is HUGE!  One’s self-confidence is developed at a very young age.  Then, as we age….the avenues of abuse take on new forms – like bullying on the playground, at school, and in the neighborhood…..even cyber-bullying! Child cyber-bullies grow up into adult cyber-bullies.  Have you ever read the comment sections of blogs, news articles, etc?  I’m astounded at the sheer negative, rude and bullish behavior that takes place! There’s a lot of hurting people out there.  Hurt people hurt people.

Are you hurt or miserable? Coach gives this advice:

If you want to stop being miserable, start doing nice things for others and saying nice things to them.

I am convinced that we all need our own personal cheerleaders. Who do you cheer for? (I know…the Hokies, Wahoos, Rams, Cowboys, Redskins, and other sports teams don’t count!) Your neighbor is someone who needs a cheerleader.  It could be your spouse, your child, a co-worker, the cashier at the local grocery store, the guy who empties the trash at work, or the person in front of you in the Starbucks line.  Find a way to be kind.  If you are stuck and need some help in that area…check out the wonderful ways that Patience Salgado cheers for and encourages others via Kindness girl….because kindness changes everything. I’m encouraged by her ideas and challenged by “guerrilla goodness”, and you will be too!

Coach provides us great advice on page 67…

“….He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1, TNIV). Part of our job as Christ followers is to participate in Christ’s mission to “bind up the brokenhearted.”

As we seek to bind up the brokenhearted, we would do well to remember the message found in Colossians 3:12 – that as God’s chosen people, Christ’s followers, we are “holy and dearly loved.” As people who are dearly loved by God, we have the opportunity each day to clothe ourselves in the garments of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ in our interactions with other people.

Find a beaten neighbor and bind up their broken heart via kindness, love and cheers!

Oh God, I confess of the times that I have torn down others (often those closest to me – like Louis) through my words. Forgive me. Lord, may I become my neighbor’s personal cheerleader! May I find frequent words of affirmation, love, patience, compassion, and gentleness. Teach me to love like You love….in words and in deeds.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.


This is the 13th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series.  I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. (although, I am late with this week’s post!)