Adults should be responsible for their words and actions.
And in my opinion, more so, when the ones on the receiving end are children.
At a weekend camp, a child shared with me about his hurt feelings when his mother called him a ‘useless boy’. I’m sure his mother didn’t mean for the words to harm him. She could have been caught in a frustrated situation like most mothers often find themselves in.
Yet, the words that had left our mouths could not be retracted back, and the damage had been done.
I asked the boy to pray and release forgiveness on his mother, and I prayed for the healing of his emotional wounds.
This happened in a teaching segment about sins that we commit when people sinned against us.
For example, when someone says negative words to us, we may feel hurt and this emotional hurt may manifest as anger which may lead us to sin (i.e., tit for tat, throwing back nasty words at our attacker) on our part.
If such emotional wounds are not dealt with early, they may grow deeper and become a sin that is uncontrollable (stronghold).
At the end of the camp, the boy wrote in his testimony that the wounds on his heart were healed by Jesus and he drew a picture of a heart with 7 butterflies on it.
I asked him what the 7 butterflies meant but he said that he didn’t know.
I suggested that he prayed and asked God to reveal to him.
He couldn’t wait to know the answer and he immediately sat down beside me and prayed.
He waited and waited but he didn’t hear an answer from God.
Before he left the camp, he came up to me and said excitedly that he knew what the 7 butterflies were.
He said that God told him that the butterflies were the hurts and sins He was removing from his heart.
I was awed!
This smiley boy, bursting with excitement in his eyes, is only 7 years old.
Such is the simple faith of a child.
James 1:19-20 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Words have the power to hurt and to heal.
Let us use edifying words towards others, especially to the children.